Weeds Authority for the New England
New England Weeds Authority (NEWA), is the registered trading name of The New England County Council.
NEWA is a single purpose Council which is a Local Control Authority for priority and invasive weeds under the NSW Biosecurity Act, 2015. The present area of operation of NEWA is the local government areas of Armidale Regional, Walcha, Uralla Shire, Glen Innes Severn and Inverell Shire Council (under MOU for 12 months to 30 June 2022). These Councils are located in the Northern Tablelands region of New South Wales.
The County Council’s governance is in accordance with the Local Government Act 1993 (LGA 1993) with the County Council first proclaimed in 1947.
NEWA provides effective integrated weed management systems utilising the latest technology to prevent, contain or reduce the biosecurity risk of invasive plants to the environment, economy and community within the area of operation of the County Council.
As a County Council under the LGA 1993, NEWA is required to have a governing body made up of elected representatives of its Constituent Councils. Part 5 of Local Government Act 1993 outlines the formation and operation of County Councils.
Ordinary meetings of Council are generally held at 8.30am on the 3rd Tuesday of the month on a quarterly basis (February, April, June, August and October).
The decisions of Council are adopted through a majority voting system with each member having one vote. In the case of an equal number of votes, the Chairperson has the casting vote.
Special meetings are held at other times when required. Meeting dates and times are published on Councils' website home page (Upcoming Events) or can be obtained by telephoning Council on (02) 5775 9700.
Meetings are open to the public and the media except on occasions where there is a discussion of confidential items, such as staff or legal matters.
County Council Core Business Activities
The core role of the County Council is the enforcement of General Biosecurity Duty of land occupiers in the County Council’s area of operation and the control of priority and invasive plants on Council lands.
The County Council is fundamentally responsible for weed control of gazetted or priority weeds including:
- Ensuring landholders/occupiers of private land fulfil their obligations under the Biosecurity Act 2015.
- inspection of land within their area for priority and invasive weeds;
- enforcing the control of priority weeds as per the legislative requirements;
- weed management on land occupied by the council and on roads in their area;
- publicity about weeds declared in the area;
- proposing changes to priority weed declarations;
- developing, implementing and co-ordinating local strategies and policies;
- providing on-going approved training and professional development for weed staff and
- providing adequate resources to implement priority and invasive weed programs.