The Illawarra District Weeds Authority (IDWA) is the local weed control authority for the area of southern NSW, Australia covered by the local government areas of Wollongong City, Shellharbour City and Kiama Municipal Council.
The IDWA came into existence in 1992 when the abovementioned councils decided to form a special purpose council to administer and control their priority and invasive weeds. Each of the three constituent councils has one Councillor delegate who represents their council's interests and oversees the affairs of the Authority. A technical officer from each of the three council's technical staff provides an advisory and support function to the IDWA. The IDWA governance is in accordance with a Deed of Agreement signed between the three member councils.
Funds are provided for the working of the Authority by the State Government and the constituent councils.
The IDWA is responsible for controlling priority and invasive weeds on all council owned lands including certain roadsides and Crown land through special grants. It is also responsible for the inspection of private and public property for priority and invasive weeds and the giving of directions and advice to landholders or occupiers so that adequate control is maintained.
As the Local Control Authority for weeds under the NSW Biosecurity Act 2015 the IDWA has the following functions over the land in which it operates:
(a) the prevention, elimination, minimisation and management of the biosecurity risk posed or likely to be posed by weeds
(b) to develop, implement, co-ordinate and review weed control programs
(c) to inspect land in connection with its weed control functions
(d) to keep records about the exercise of the local control authority’s functions under this Act
(e) to report to the Secretary about the exercise of the local control authority’s functions under this Act
The primary role of the IDWA is provide a framework for dealing with weed biosecurity risk in the community and ensure compliance with legislation. This involves the enforcement of the General Biosecurity Duty of landholders and occupiers in the Authority’s area of operation and the control of priority and invasive weeds on Council lands.