TWO regional forums to boost collaborative efforts in managing invasive pests in the south west of Western Australia will be held at Katanning and Wongan Hills next month.
The Transforming Regional Biosecurity Response forums will bring together industry, government and community groups to discuss different approaches to pest management and opportunities to build stronger networks.
Widespread and established pests cost the agricultural regions hundreds of millions each year in lost production and control costs.
Department of Agriculture and Food WA community engagement manager, Belinda O’Brien, said forum participants would learn more about invasive pest research and discuss issues stakeholders are working through via the community coordinated approach and biosecurity group model.
Ms O’Brien said the gathering provided an opportunity to share knowledge and experiences and to build cooperative links between biosecurity community groups.
“The panel discussion sessions are a chance for those involved in pest management to have their views heard and to formulate solutions for managing widespread and established pests,” she said.
“We are particularly keen to use these discussions to drive a way forward that will support and benefit communities managing their priority declared pests.”
Guest speakers include Lynette McLeod from the University of New England, Armidale, NSW, who will discuss rethinking strategies to improve community engagement and participation in pest animal management.
Researcher Lisa Adams will discuss the human behaviour changes required for effective community action in rabbit management.
Jim Sullivan from the Eastern Wheatbelt Biosecurity Group will share his group’s journey as the first group to raise a declared pest rate in the agricultural region to address local biosecurity challenges.
The Katanning Transforming Regional Biosecurity Response forum will be held on Tuesday, October 4, at the Leisure Centre, while the Wongan Hills forum is on Thursday, October 6, at the Community Resource Centre.
For more information, visit: agric.wa.gov.au and search for ‘transforming regional biosecurity response’.