Upper Hunter Weeds Authority (UHWA), is the registered trading name of Upper Hunter County Council (UHCC). 

The Upper Hunter County Council (UHCC) is a single purpose Council which is a Local Control Authority for invasive plants under the NSW Biosecurity Act, 2015.  The present area of operation of UHCC is the local government areas of Upper Hunter, Muswellbrook and Singleton. These Councils are located at the northern end of the Hunter Valley, New South Wales. The County Council’s governance is in accordance with the Local Government Act 1993 (LGA 1993) with the County Council being first proclaimed on 1 January 1991.

UHWA provides effective integrated weed management systems utilizing 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, UHCC 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. The application of LGA 1993 to UHCC is outlined in Section 400, LGA 1993.
The UHCC governing body meets the 4.00 pm, third Tuesday of February, May, August and November. The election of Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson occurs biennially at Council’s November meeting. Constituent Council delegates are elected by their Council after each Council general election and represent their Council on the UHCC for four years. The number of representatives for each Constituent Councils is contained in the proclamation declaring the County Council.

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 Invasive Plants on Council lands. The County Council trades as Upper Hunter Weeds Authority (UHWA) with its administration office located in the Muswellbrook Shire Council Administration Centre, 157 Maitland Rd, Muswellbrook, New South Wales.

The diverse range of climatic conditions within the region exposes it to large range of invasive plants which have the potential of establishing themselves within the region. The weed species that have this potential to become a serious threat include Harrisia Cactus, African Olive, Serrated Tussock and Chilean Needle Grass in the upper reaches of the Hunter Valley and Cabomba, Senegal Tea, Alligator Weed and Salvinia in lower parts of the Upper Hunter.

Along with climate variation, the risk of new weed incursions occurring within the region is compounded by the presence of major freight and transport corridors, New England & Golden Highways and Northern Rail Line. In excess of 10,000 vehicles, of which approximately 1,800 are heavy vehicles, pass through the region daily. The region’s rail system transports over 100 million tons (109mt in 2016*) of coal annually as well wheat and other agricultural produce from the Northern NSW The region is also the location of two major Australia Defence Force facilities, the Infantry Training School at Singleton and Myambat munitions storage centre located near Denman. Both of these facilities receive and dispatch personal and equipment to various Defence Force bases and training sites throughout the eastern states of Australia.

The Upper Hunter also contains a highly developed viticulture industry, is a major breeding centre for the Thoroughbred Horse Industry and home to extensive grazing and dairy enterprises. The region currently has 20 operational coal mines, most using the open cut method of extraction. Land which is undergoing rehabilitation after this mining practice is particularly vulnerable to invasion from invasive plant species.

The region also has a number of aquatic features at risk from new invasive weed incursions. These features include the Hunter & Goulburn Rivers, which transverse the region and three major water impoundments, Glenbawn Dam, Lake Liddell and Lake St Clair.

Map depicting districts of Singleton, Muswellbrook, Scone and Merriwa

UHCC area of operation comprises an area of approximately 1,636,719 ha with a population of around 50 000 people. The region has a diverse topographical range, from the temperate rainforest of the Barrington Tops to the semi-coastal regions of the lower Hunter River Valley and contains over 500,000 ha of National Park and Nature Reserves.

Contact

General Manager
Upper Hunter County Council
PO Box 122
MUSWELLBROOK NSW 2333


Telephone: 02 65410323
Email: admin@uhwa.org.au

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Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority

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