Upper Macquarie County Council is a single purpose local government authority, established by the Governor under Section 387 of the Local Government Act 1993, as the control authority for biosecurity weed threats (formerly known as noxious weeds) in the areas of Bathurst Regional Council, Blayney Shire Council, Lithgow City Council and Oberon Council. The Council covers a region of approximately 13,500 square kilometres with a population of over 77,000 people in a very diverse area with that includes productive agricultural lands, forests and large areas of national park.

The UMCC was originally formed on 9 February 1949 with its constituent councils including the shires of Abercrombie, Lyndhurst and Oberon. On 14 July 1954 the boundaries were altered to include the Turon Shire. The boundaries were again altered on 28 October 1955 to include the City of Bathurst. A further alteration of the boundaries occurred on 29 June 1979 to include the City of Greater Lithgow.

Along the way other changes to the boundaries occurred including the formation of the Blayney Shire in 1977 which incorporated the former Lyndhurst Shire Council with part of the Canobolas Shire Council. At this same time the Evans Shire Council was formed with the amalgamation of the Abercrombie Shire Council and Turon Shire Council. Further changes occurred with the amalgamations in 2004 when the Evans Shire and Rylstone Shire councils were dissolved and the southern portion of the former Rylstone Shire, including the area surrounding Glen Alice, was brought into the Lithgow LGA and subsequently also into the UMCC area of responsibility.

With limited exceptions the Local Government Act 1993 applies to the County Council in the same way as it applies to other local government councils and under Section 8 of the Act the County Council has the same charter as any other council.

Council is also governed by other acts of Parliament, particularly the Biosecurity Act 2015 which came into effect from 1 July 2017 and repealing the Noxious Weeds Act 1993. The Biosecurity Act provides the opportunity to streamline and modernise the way weeds are managed in NSW.

Under the new Act the Upper Macquarie County Council is a local control authority and has the following functions:

  • the prevention, elimination, minimisation and management of the biosecurity risk posed or likely to be posed by weeds,
  • to develop, implement, co-ordinate and review weed control programs,
  • to inspect land in connection with its weed control functions,
  • to keep records about the exercise of the local control authority's functions under this Act

Weeds are a threat to the natural environment and the agriculture industry, with the financial impact on farming in NSW alone, in the vicinity of 600 million dollars per year. It is important that all members of the community play their part in the control of Biosecurity Matter (Weeds).

 

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