Here you can put a face to Council's Invasive Species Team. They'll be the ones helping you to identify weeds, control them and sometimes may be required to conduct work on or near your property.
With the Biosecurity Act 2015 coming into enforcement in July 2017, as Authorised Officers under the Act, Port Stephens Councils Invasive Species Team may be required to enter, inspect, and carry out other functions as prescribed by the legislation on private lands, including weed education and compliance.
The Invasive Species Team will always take due care on private lands and where practical, notify occupiers prior to entry.
The Invasive Species Team is made up of three Invasive Species Officers, and is lead by a Bushland Management Officer.
Jordan Skinner, Bushland Management Officer
An Environmental Scientist with a weed and pest focus, Jordan has worked in weed management since 2005 where began teaching and leading bush regeneration projects as a Green Corps team leader after himself graduating from a Diploma in Conservation and Land Management.
Since joining Council, Jordan continued his studies and has graduated with a Bachelor in Environmental Science (Natural Resource Management) in 2014, and has undertaken both vertebrate pest management and urban pest control licensing courses. Jordan's skills are continually developing and he is currently undertaking a Graduate Certificate in Plant Biosecurity. Jordan has moved forward within the Council to now lead the Invasive Species Team.
Leigh Ernst, Invasive Species Officer
The Invasive Species Teams' longest serving member (18 years) with a wealth of local knowledge of pest issues and, weed identification and control measures. Prior to coming to council Leigh has worked as a commercial pest/weed control operator taming the urban interface.
Leigh is instrumental in co-coordinating our Aquatic Weed Control programs on the Hunter, Williams and Paterson Rivers as well as the majority of our other weed control programs, utilizing chemical, mechanical and biological methods. Leigh's favorite program is dealing with the seasonal rabbit complaints and implementing control programs in that urban/bushland interface.
Samuel Porter, Invasive Species Officer
A builder by trade, Sam took a career green change to follow his passion in the natural and agriculture environment.
Sam is due to complete his Bachelor Degree in Environmental Science in 2021 and completed a Diploma in Conservation and Land Management in 2018. He enjoys the challenges of and engaging others in weed and pest management. Sam has worked for Port Stephens Council in a variety of roles since 2013 and enjoys the work atmosphere of the council.
Taylar Morrison, Invasive Species Officer
Taylar has a Certificate III in Conservation and Land Management as well as 7 years experience as an environmental contractor. He has extensive knowledge and experience in carrying out bush regeneration, revegetation programs and implementing and coordinating weed management programs throughout a range of ecosystems.
If you need any information on weeds and pests, would like to report a sighting or need any advice, please contact:
Invasive Species Team
Phone: (02) 4988 0392