Letter: Department of Industry – Lands response to Browns Creek Crown Land management

The Department of Industry – Lands acknowledges Ed Rotgans is a passionate gardener and shares the community’s respect for his hard work and commitment to improve this plot of Crown land near Brown’s Creek for residents and passers-by.

It is important to note that if anyone wishes to clear, dig up or cultivate Crown land, they must first seek approval under the Crown Lands Act 1989. It is also worth noting that under the Noxious Weed Act 1993 the NSW Government is required to act to remove declared noxious weeds whenever they are found.

There is a very good reason for this. It is to protect the environment and agricultural lands from the potentially serious threat from the spread of noxious species on, and from, Crown Land. The weeds found on this plot included species like Cockspur Coral, Ginger Lily and Mickey Mouse.

Council first advised of the presence of noxious weeds and numerous plantings, including a large Cockspur Coral tree, in November 2016. The site was inspected on 8 December.

Council advise that information on what can and cannot be planted has been provided to Mr Rotgans on a number of occasions. Prior to the removal of the noxious plants, Mr Rotgans was contacted and made aware as to why the removal of these noxious plants was necessary.

Bush regeneration and revegetation work will be undertaken on the reserve once the invasive species and weeds have been removed.

It is important that the community respects and understands the need to consider what plants can be planted in public reserves. It is also important that members of the public consult and gain permission before doing any work on Crown land, including where that work is undertaken by community groups and volunteers. In fact, this is required by law.

The Department of Industry – Lands takes its responsibility for the custodianship of Crown land seriously and is keen to work with Mr Rotgans and others in the local community to ensure this plot of Crown Land at Brown’s Creek remains healthy, sustainable and that the spread of noxious plants is managed.

Alison Stone

Deputy Director General - Lands 

NSW Department of Industry