Weeds and Absentee Landholders

Assessing and supporting Shoalhaven absentee landholders management of weeds and pests

Weeds and Absentee Landholders

Assessing and supporting Shoalhaven absentee landholders management of weeds and pests

Local Links - Stronger Communities -


The issue

The Shoalhaven area of the south coast of NSW attracts many absentee or non-resident landholders who purchase land locally yet reside elsewhere, either within or outside of the Shoalhaven for a variety of reasons. In some cases this provides challenges for managing on-ground issues including weeds and pests. The reasons for this may relate to challenges of limited time, funds, resources, knowledge and support networks. 

Local Landcare groups offer the support required to control weeds through knowledge, equipment, networks and sometimes funding. However many absentee landholders are not aware of Landcare and its purpose. Also many absentee landholders do not receive promotional material on local group activities and objectives. 

The solution

Shoalhaven Landcare Association determined that collating and analysing relevant information from various sources including census data, Shoalhaven City Council and Local Land Services would provide the groundwork on locations, issues, motivations, and solutions relating to absentee landholders and weed management.

Further data was obtained directly from Shoalhaven absentee landholders through an online survey. Two sections focused on weeds and properties respectively including:

  • How successfully they are managing their weeds to date
  • Who has been the greatest source of advice to date
  • What is the best support they could receive in the future
  • Property size
  • Main economic activity of property
  • Length of ownership

The impact

Shoalhaven Landcare now has a much better understanding of this sector of Shoalhaven landholders. This understanding will enable more effective outreach by local Landcare groups and targeting of future projects. 

Absentee landholders have also been up-skilled through this project by individual property visits with a technical expert. The benefit of these site visits are twofold:

  1. Improved absentee landholder decision making related to pest and weed management
  2. Connection to Landcare networks and associated provision of support at the local level

Key facts

  • Weed control - 64% of absentee landholder survey respondents state that they are working on controlling their weeds, but still have a long way to go; 36% state it is under control from our efforts
  • Support sources - 27% of respondents would benefit from on-site advice from technical experts; 27% of respondents would benefit from relevant and accessible information eg web-based
  • Main economic activity - 42% grazing; 25% private family use; 17% holiday or residential rental

Project Partners