Natural Resource Management

NRM is the integrated management of the natural resources that make up our natural landscapes, such as land, water, soil, plants and animals. That is, our land, water and biodiversity assets.

As part of the maintenance of roadside vegetation, Council undertakes a spraying program within both urban and rural areas using Government approved chemicals. As part of the program, Council invites residents to apply for their property frontage to be added to the No Spray Register for the 2022-2024 period.

Previous years permit holders will need to re-apply as permits expire.


Application for the No Spray Register for this financial year have now closed. Application need to be received by 30 August.

If your application is approved, you must undertake control of the vegetation along the frontage of your property in accordance with Council’s No Spray Register Policy.


Council encourages planting of trees and shrubs. For every tree removed because of safety reasons we encourage residents to replant, not necessarily in the same spot, but within their property and following the “things to consider” when planting. This will then ensure a green future for all generations.

Should you require further information on the types of trees or shrubs to plant in your area, look around at your neighbouring properties. Select trees or shrubs that are growing well, and note the position they have been planted. Make a note of the type of tree or shrub it may be or with the property owners permission take a small cutting.

Your local nursery can provide you with a wealth of information on the types of trees which grow well in your area. They would most likely be able to recognize your cutting and stock or recommend similar species. Planting natives on your property supports a healthier environment and increases habitat for native animals.

Native plants usually adapt to low nutrient environments and need very little fertilizer. With a good mulch and watering to first establish the tree or shrub, native plants can become low maintenance. Natives in the garden, trees, shrubs and ground covers will also reduce weed risk.

Selecting Your Tree – Things to Consider

Where to plant a tree is very important. The first step is to look up. If there are overhead utilities plant a low growing tree or select a different planting site. Planting a tall growing tree where it doesn’t have room to grow can lead to problems in the future.

The second step is to look down. Are there underground utilities, waterlines or wastewater pipes or trenches in the area? If so, select a different planting site. Planting too close to these utilities will cause problems in the future. The last step is to look around. Make sure you leave plenty of room for your tree to grow. A spot next to buildings may not be perfect when the tree reaches its mature size.

Caring for your tree

Water as needed throughout the season. To avoid over-watering remember to check the wetness of the soil under the mulch and adapt your watering to rainfall and soil conditions. Mulch improves soil structure and aeration, keeps roots cool and moist and controls weeds. Apply 2” to 4” of woody aged mulch. Stake if necessary using wide webbing straps secured to stakes.

Tree Management Policy

The purpose of Council’s Tree Management Policy is to provide direction for the management of trees under Council control throughout the Municipality.

Tree Management Policy


The Resource & Planning Stream of the Tasmanian Civil & Administrative Tribunal (TASCAT) can help resolve neighbourhood tree disputes under the Neighbourhood Disputes About Plants Act 2017 if you are not able to resolve it informally with your neighbour.

You can view a copy of the act and read more information about this on the website below:

Neighbourhood Disputes about Plants Act 2017 | Resource and Planning Stream (TASCAT)

Legal Aid Tasmania also has a fact sheet which can provide you with more information:

This year, Sorell Council is concentrating its efforts towards elimination of three weeds – Paterson’s curse (Echium plantagineum), Feathertop (Pennisetum villosum), and Mirror bush (Coprosma repens). These weeds are rapidly gaining ground in our coastal ecosystem and, left uncontrolled, likely to be as problematic as Boneseed. If you recognise any of these in your garden, please replace with other evergreen local plants. If you see it on council properties, let us know by filling in the online observation form or take a photo and upload it to iNaturalist ( or Natural Values Atlas (

Paterson’s curse is one of Council’s priority targets – mainly because it’s a challenging plant as its seeds can lay dormant in the soil for years, awaiting favourable conditions to germinate.

Paterson’s curse (Echium plantagineum)

Paterson’s curse (Echium plantagineum)

Grant from the Weed Action Fund: The Sorell Council has successfully secured a grant from Weed Action Fund, administered by NRM North to eliminate Paterson’s curse from our municipality. This ambitious project will be a collaborative effort, involving landowners who will co-contribute 50% of the funding either in cash or in-kind support.

During the next 12 months, we will be working closely with an independent contractor team to apply herbicide treatments. The project’s impact will extend beyond that timeframe, with ongoing follow-up efforts for the following years carried out by dedicated landowners. By maintaining our persistence and commitment, we aim to completely eradicate this species from our municipality.

Feathertop (a notoriously invasive weed in Tasmania), has now been identified in a single location in Lewisham. We are working with Biosecurity Tasmania and the landowner to eradicate this species. With this sighting, it may mean other unrecorded locations exist and we urge everyone to watch out for Feathertop and report it immediately.

Feathertop (Pennisetum villosum)

Feathertop (Pennisetum villosum)

Mirror bush (Coprosma repens)

Mirror bush (Coprosma repens)




Weeds are no different to native grasses, physiologically and morphologically. However, weeds are unwanted for a variety of reasons:

  •  They out compete native species.
  • They change the physiology of the environment.
  • They rapidly spread over a wider range, eventually changing the ecology of certain environments and do greater harm to economy in that area.

All exotic species are weeds, although our long established thinking about them as weeds is not always true. Many exotic species do not spread rapidly, are not invasive and are quite contained in their original site. However, some pose a serious threat by rapidly expanding over large areas.

Weeds are extremely costly to control, and can cause serious monetary loses causing expensive losses for agriculture and livestock. Weeds are not only a concern to farmers, they are a major concern to every individual as they directly or indirectly affect us all.

Australia has introduced approximately more than 3,207 species and naturalized in Australia. Of these species more than 500 species are considered as weeds nationwide. Consequently weed management is a great challenge to Australia. Australia’s Biosecurity is highly sensitive in terms of importing any plants and animals that are likely to become a weed or pest. There are measures in place to avoid any consequence that may be brought with the introduction of foreign plants.

Type of Weeds

The Australian Government has classified weeds into two broad categories, declared and non-declared environmental and agricultural Weeds.

Some declared weeds pose greater threat than others, and therefore they are further identified as Weeds of National Significance (WONS).

147 weeds are declared under the Weed Management Act 1999. However, not all 147 weeds are present in Tasmania. Out these declared 147 weeds, 32 weeds are declared as WONS.

Current data shows the Sorell Municipality is infested with at least 9 WONS and many other Environmental Weeds.

Council has legal obligation under Weed Management Act 1999 to control declared weeds on land we own or manage. From the management perspective, declared weeds are categorized into two zones – Zone A and Zone B.

Zone A species are those which have very limited presence or no presence in the Municipality The primary objective for these weeds is to erdaicate them.

Zone B species are widespread in the Municipality. The primary management objective for these weeds is to control them.

However, there are species which are in Zone A but have had wider infestation recently occur, and some Zone B species can be eradicated due to the continued efforts from all stakeholders.

Legal requirements

Management of weeds cost millions of dollars and it is not always entirely possible to eradicate weeds. We must understand one weed can be eradicated from a certain place for a certain period of time, but without continuous monitoring and follow up action, then its eradication cannot be  guaranteed. Shared responsibility is critical as it is the duty of every individual to eradicate and  maintain their property for weeds.

The Australian Government has declared that it is the legal responsibility of every land owner to manage their property effectively to to eradicate or otherwise contain the declared weeds within their boundary under the Weed Management Act 1999.

Sorell Council as a regulator has legal authority to inspect any property and issue weed notices to the land owner under the Weed Management Act 1999. If the weed infestations noted in Weed Notices are not brought under control within the defined time frame, then Council may issue a Requirement Notice under the Weed Management Act 1999.  Failure to comply with a Requirement Notice can result in an on the spot fine of up to $1,000.  Ongoing breaches of the Act may attract more significant penalties.

These weeds are often garden escapees that multiplied in the natural environment and have caused serious economic and environmental damage.

Common name Scientific name Presence recorded in Sorell LGA
Banana Passionfruit Passiflora cinnabarina and Passiflora tarminiana No
Bluebell Creeper Billardiera heterophylla Yes
Blue Butterfly Bush Psoralea pinnata No
Blue Periwinkle Vinca major No
Cape Ivy Delairea odorata Yes
Cape Leeuwin Wattle Paraserianthes lophantha No
Cotoneaster Cotoneaster species No
Foxglove Digitalis purpurea No
Fuchsia Fuchsia magellanica No
Gazania Gazania linearis Yes
Ivy Hedera helix Yes
Mirror Bush Coprosma repens Yes
Sea Spurge Euphorbia paralias Yes
Sweet Pittosporum Pittosporum undulatum Yes
Sycamore Acer pseudoplatanus No
Tree Lucerne Chamaecytisus palmensis No
Wandering Creeper Tradescantia fluminensis No

WONS are the top priority weeds for any local land manger due to their potential to cause significant impact and the associated difficulty to eradicate them once they are established.

Common Name Scientific Name Presence recorded in Sorell LGA
African boxthorn Lycium ferocissimum Yes
Alligator weed Alternanthera philoxeroides No
Asparagus weeds Asparagus aethiopicus, A. africanus, A. asparagoides
Western Cape form, A. declinatus, A. plumosus and
A. scandens. Includes original WoNS Asparagus
asparagoides Excludes A. officinalis and A. Racemosis
Athel pine Tamarix aphylla No
Bellyache bush Jatropha gossypiifolia No
Bitou bush/boneseed Chrysanthemoides monilifera Yes
Blackberry Rubus fruticosus agg. Yes
Bridal creeper Asparagus asparagoides Yes
Brooms Scotch Montpellier Flaxleaf No
Cabomba Cabomba caroliniana No
Cat’s claw creeper Dolichandra unguis-cati No
Chilean needle grass Nassella  neesiana Yes
Gamba grass Andropogon gayunus No
Gorse Ulex europaeus Yes
Fireweed Senecio madagas cariensis No
Hymenachne Hymenachne amplexicaulis No
Lantana Lantana camara No
Madeira vine Anredera cordifolia No
Mesquite  Prosopis spp. No
Mimosa Mimosa pigra No
Opuntioid cacti Opuntia spp.  (excludes O. ficus-indica), Cylindropuntia spp.,
Austrocylindropuntia spp.
Parkinsonia Parkinsonia acuteata No
Parthenium weed Parthenium hysterophorus No
Pond apple Annona glabra No
Prickly acacia Acacia nilotica No
Rubber vine Cryptostegia grandiflora No
Sagittaria Sagittaria platyphylla No
Salvinia Salvinia molesta No
Serrated tussock Nassella trichotama Yes
Silverleaf nightshade Solanum elaeagnifolium No
Water hyacinth Eichhornia crassipes No
Willows except weeping willows,
pussy willow and sterile pussy willow
Salix spp. except S. babvlonica, S. x calendendron and
S. x reichardtii

These are combination of WONS and other environmental weeds that are listed under the Weed Management Act 1999. They are not necessarily present at current state but can pose serious impact if they are introduced.

Common Name Scientific Name
African Boxthorn Lycium ferocissimum
African Feather Grass Cenchrus macrourus(syn. Pennisetum macrourum)
African Lovegrass Eragrostis curvula
African Thistle Berkheya rigida
Alligator Weed Alternanthera philoxeroides
Amsinckia species Amsinckia species
​Angled Heath ​Erica quadrangularis
Apple-of-Sodom Solanum sodomaeum
Arrowhead Sagittaria montevidensis
Artichoke Thistle Cynara cardunculus
Asparagus Fern​ Asparagus scandens
Athel Pine Tamarix aphylla
Bathurst Burr Xanthium
Bear-skin Fescue Festuca gautieri
​Bell Heather ​Erica cinerea
​​Bellyache Bush ​Jatropha gossypiifolia
​​Berry Heath ​Erica baccans
​​Besom Heath ​Erica scoparia
​​Bicolored Heath ​Erica discolor
Bifora Bifora testiculata
Blackberry Rubus fruticosus aggregate
Boneseed Chrysanthemoides monilifera (including subspecies)
Bridal Creeper Asparagus asparagoides
​Bridal Veil ​Asparagus declinatus
Broomrape Orobanche species (except O. minor and O. cernua var. australiana)
Cabomba Cabomba caroliniana
Californian Thistle Cirsium arvense
Caltrop Tribulus terrestris
Canadian Pondweed, Elodea Elodea canadensis
Cane Needle Grass ​Nassella hyalina
Cape Tulips Moraea species
​Cat’s Claw Creeper ​Dolichandra unguis-cati​
Chilean Needle Grass Nassella neesiana
​​Climbing Asparagus ​Asparagus africanus
​Climbing Asparagus Fern ​Asparagus plumosus
Common Crupina Crupina vulgaris
Common Heliotrope Heliotropium europaeum
​Cornish Heath ​Erica vagans
​​Corsican Heath ​Erica terminalis
Cotton Thistles Onopordum species
Creeping Knapweed Acroptilon repens
Creeping Yellowcress Rorippa sylvestris
​Cross-leaved Heath ​Erica tetralix
Crow Garlic Allium vineale
Cut-Leaf Nightshade Solanum triflorum
Darwin’s Barberry Berberis darwinii
Datura Datura species
Dodder Cuscuta species (excluding Cuscuta tasmanica)
​Dorset Heath ​Erica ciliaris
Egeria, Dense Water Weed Egeria densa (syn. Elodea densa)
Elisha’s Tears Leycesteria formosa
English Broom​ Cytisus scoparius
​Erica species ​Erica glandulosa
​​​Erica species ​Erica holosericea
​​​Erica species ​Erica melanthera
Espartillo Amelichloa caudata (syn. Achnatherum caudatum)
False Cleavers Galium spurium
False Yellowhead Dittrichia viscosa
Feathertop Cenchrus longisetus(syn. Pennisetum villosum)
Fennel Foeniculum vulgare
​Fireweed ​Senecio madagascariensis
​​Flax-leaf Broom ​Genista linifolia
Floating Water Chestnut Trapa species
​Gamba Grass ​Andropogon gayanus
Giant Hogweed Heracleum mantegazzianum
Gorse Ulex europaeus
​Ground Asparagus ​Asparagus aethiopicus
Hawkweed Hieracium (syn. Pilosella) species
Heather Calluna vulgaris
​Holly ​Ilex aquifolium
Holly-leaved Senecio Senecio glastifolius
Horehound Marrubium vulgare
Hornwort Ceratophyllum demersum
Horsetail Equisetum species
Hydrilla Hydrilla verticillata
Hymenachne Hymenachne amplexicaulis and Hymenachne x calamitosa
Innocent Weed (Spiny Burrgrass) Cenchrus longispinus
​Irish Heath ​Erica erigena
Japanese Knotweed Fallopia japonica
Karamu Coprosma robusta
Kochia Bassia scoparia (syn. Kochia scoparia)
Lagarosiphon (Oxygen Weed) Lagarosiphon major
Lantana Lantana camara
​Lobed Needle Grass ​Nassella charruana
​Madeira Vine ​Anredera cordifolia
Mallee Cockspur Centaurea eriophora
Meadow Parsley Oenanthe pimpinelloides
Mediterranean Daisy Urospermum dalechampii
Mesquite Prosopis species
Mexican Feather Grass Nassella tenuissima
Miconia Miconia species
​Mimosa ​Mimosa pigra
Montpellier Broom Genista monspessulana
New Zealand Sedges Carex albula, C. buchananii, C. flagellifera and C. testacea
Nodding Thistle Carduus nutans
Onion Weed Asphodelus fistulosus
​Opuntioid Cacti ​Austrocylindropuntia species
​​Opuntioid Cacti ​Cylindropuntia species
​​Opuntioid Cacti ​Opuntia species (excluding Opuntia ficus-indica)
Pampas Grasses Cortaderia species
Pampas Lily-of-the-Valley Salpichroa origanifolia
Parkinsonia Parkinsonia aculeata
Parodi Eleocharis parodii
Parrot’s Feather Myriophyllum aquaticum (syn. M. brasiliense)
​Parthenium Weed Parthenium hysterophorus
Paterson’s Curse Echium plantagineum L.
Prickly Acacia Acacia nilotica ssp. indica
​Purple Nut Grass ​​Cyperus rot​undus
Ragwort Senecio jacobaea
​​​Rubber Vine ​Cryptostegia grandiflo
Saffron Thistle Carthamus lanatus L.
Sagittaria Sagittaria platyphylla (syn. Sagittaria graminea)
​Salvinia ​Salvinia molesta
Senegal Tea Plant, Temple Plant Gymnocoronis spilanthoides
​Serrated Tussock ​Nassella trichotoma
Silver-leaf Nightshade Solanum elaeagnifolium
Skeleton Weed Chondrilla juncea
Slender Thistle Carduus pycnocephalus and Carduus tenuiflorus
​Spanish Heath ​Erica lusitanica
Spiny Burrgrass, (Innocent Weed) Cenchrus longispinus and Cenchrus incertus
Spiny Emex Emex australis
Square Stemmed St John’s Wort Hypericum tetrapterum
St John’s Wort Hypericum perforatum
Star Thistle Centaurea calcitrapa
Stemless Thistle Onopordum acaulon
Stinking Mayweed Anthemis cotula
Texas Needle Grass Nassella leucotricha
Three-horned Bedstraw Galium tricornutum
​Tree Heath ​Erica arborea
Tumbleweed Amaranthus albus
Viper’s Bugloss Echium vulgare L.
​Water Heath ​Erica caffra
Water Hyacinth Eichhornia crassipes
​Western Cape Bridal Creeper ​Asparagus asparagoides Western Cape form
White Spanish Broom Cytisus multiflorus
Whiteweed (Hoary Cress) Lepidium draba
White-edged Nightshade Solanum marginatum
Wild Rice Zizania species
Willows (Salix species, excluding S. babylonica, S. x calodendron and S. x reichardtii )
​Winter Heath ​Erica carnea
Witchweed Striga species (all non-indigenous species)
Yellow Nut Grass / Yellow Nut Sedge Cyperus esculentus

These species are not yet declared but have the potential to become species of significant concern if not managed properly and timely.

Common Name Scientific Name Presence recorded in Sorell LGA
Capeweed Arctotheca calendula No
Cumbungi, bullrush Typha species Yes
Docks Rumex species No
Glyceria Glyceria maxima No
Paspalum Paspalum dilatatum No
Rope Twitch, English Couch Grass Agropyron repens No
Spear Thistle, Scotch Thistle Cirsium vulgare No
Sweet Briar Rosa rubiginosa L. Yes
Variegated Thistle Silybum marianum L. Yes

There are number of ongoing projects in relation to the management of weeds in our Municipality.

We regularly engage in managing weeds from our parks and reserves. Further, we also control weeds in the roadside based on the needs assessment undertaken by our Parks and Reserves crew.

Last year, we received a grant from the Weed Action Fund to help a number of landowners to manage targeted weeds. The Council requested expression of interest from landowners within LGA and based on grant eligibility, some of the landowners were granted a one time grant of $5000 to manage/control these weeds.

This year, another round of the Weed Action Fund grant has been implemented via a contractor to manage targeted weeds such as Gorse, Serrated Tussock and Chilean Needle Grass. Properties were identified where these weeds are causing serious impacts and property owners were contacted to liaise with the contractor to implement the control action.

We are continuously working to contain weeds that causes serious threat to our natural environment and livelihood of our communities. We understand managing weeds is a continuous process that involves our organisation, everyone in our community and many other stakeholders outside of our Municipality.

Local Community Action

We have highly enthusiastic and motivated local community groups that engages our local communities to manage weeds in their local area. These groups have been successful in controlling weeds within their community. These community groups run regular Working Bee that focuses on controlling weeds, removing litter and taking care of the natural environment.

If you are interested about understanding weeds and want to directly get involved in managing these obnoxious weeds, please reach out to us via NRM department or contact your local community groups – Southern Beaches Landcare/Coastcare Group, Marion Bay Coastcare Group, Friends of Blue Lagoon and Wildcare Friends of Pitt Water Orielton Lagoon.


Priority Weeds for Sorell Council:

All weeds affect many aspects of life and livelihood, such as agriculture, water quality, environment, aesthetic and human health. However, there are few weeds that are more invasive, dominant and poses more serious impacts to communities. Based on its invasiveness, impact, relative abundance and regional partnership, some of the species are priority weeds over other weeds in Sorell municipality.

  • African Boxthorn (Lycium ferocissimum)
  • African love grass (Eragrostis curvula)
  • Blackberry (Rubus fruticosus)
  • Boneseeds (Chrysanthemoides monilifera)
  • Bridal Creeper (Asparagus asparagoides)
  • Chilean Needle Grass (Nassella neesiana)
  • Gorse (Ulex europaeus)
  • Serrated Tussock (​Nassella trichotoma)
  • Spanish heath (​Erica lusitanica)

Principles of Weed Management

The Australian Weeds Strategy (AWS) 2017 – 2027 has outlined following seven principles that should underpin weed management in Australia and guide planning, investment and actions.

1) Effective weed management is a responsibility shared between landholders, community, industry and government.

2) Evidence-based decision-making should underpin the approach to weeds.

3) Risk-based prevention and early intervention is generally the most cost-effective approach for managing weeds.

4) Prioritisation of weed management must be informed by a risk based approach, considering feasibility, likelihood of success, impact and national significance.

5) Coordination amongst landholders, community, industry and government is necessary to manage weeds at a landscape scale.

6) Sustaining capability and capacity across landholders, community, industry and government is fundamental to effective weed management.

7) Individuals, organisations and industry groups that create risks that may result in a weed entering, emerging, establishing or spreading in Australia have a role in minimising the impacts and contributing to the costs of management.

We adopts the roles and responsibilities outlined in the AWS 2017 as below:

  • Exercise statutory duties to encourage responsible weed management.
  • Manage weed problems on our land in a responsible way, in co-operation with other landowners.
  • Assist with the coordination of community weed management programs.
  • Represent community interests in weed management.
  • Support the activities of local groups undertaking weed management.
  • Assist with data collection and information exchange.
  • Develop and adopt ‘good neighbour’ policies, where appropriate, to help reduce the spread and impacts of high risk weed species.
  • Support and build public awareness about weed issues.

Weed management depends on the presence, type, invasiveness and cost to management. However, if we act early and thoroughly we don’t need to be selective in managing these weeds. Prevention of any weed in an area is the best approach and early detection of species will help management reduce the cost significantly. However, the ideal condition is not always available thus, we have to work on stages for species based on the strategy.

Weed resources coming soon……

It is very important that everyone is aware of these obnoxious weeds and report them as they see them.

One of the simplest way of reporting them is taking a picture and uploading them via iNaturalist. This is an app that can be downloaded on android devices via the Google Play Store or on Apple devices via the App Store.

Please click here to access the Sorell Council weed observation form

Native or local ducks are not necessarily what we see every day in our waterbodies, but amazingly – Tasmania does have 11 of Australia’s 17 native duck species!

We want to protect our native ducks from the impact of introduced species. One of these, Mallards, were introduced from the Northern hemisphere – they are bigger, aggressive and eat a wider range of foods than our native species. Mallards can cause serious impacts on native species and outcompete them, thereby leading to decline in population or eventual extinction.

Significant concerns have also been raised due to cross-breeding of similar looking native Pacific Black Ducks with Mallards. Cross-breeding cause hybridization and hybrids have caused serious impact on native species around the globe.

Knowing what is a native duck or an introduced species can help.

Why is this important?

Native birds play an important role in ecological balance by feeding in algae, preventing unwanted algal bloom and feed on pests that checks diseases.

They also:

  • act as an important vector for seed dispersal
  • are important ecological indicators, they can respond to slight changes in the environment and allow us to act quickly
  • they provide economic value to our livelihood
  • they are important ecotourism assets

 What we can do to help

  • do not create environment for Mallards to compete with our native species by not feeding them, provide water, or shelter.
  • domestic ducks should be managed within defined boundaries and not allow them to interbreed with feral species
  • keep dogs on-lead and away from ducks
  • get to know more about different duck species, their feeding habit, their habitat and their role in the environment
  • inspire those around you to appreciate the complexity of nature