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Federal, state govts add $40M to pest, weed control budget

Grain Central, January 19, 2022

ON-GROUND management of problematic pests and weeds will see a significant boost through an Australian Government investment of $20 million, matched dollar for dollar by state and territory governments to maximise impact and deliver collaborative reduction and prevention activities across the country.

“Pests and weeds are a huge and growing problem for Australia’s agriculture and environment,” Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud said.

“Projects will reduce the overall burden of pests and weeds on-ground through activities such as coordinated control, destruction and removal, including trapping, baiting and culling along with biological control release.

“They will target nationally significant pest and weed species, such as feral deer, feral pigs, cats, foxes, rabbits, wild dogs and a range of invasive weeds across identified hot spots.”

Mr Littleproud said he welcomed the commitment from state and territory governments to co-invest in projects to address these significant issues.

Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said the funding would help better protect Australia’s unique environment from invasive plants and animals, as well as supporting the new Threatened Species Strategy.

“A reduction of pest animals and weeds will lead to more productive and profitable industries, and benefit native wildlife and the environment, including nature-based tourism industries and communities.

The $20M announced by the Federal Government will add to the 2021-22 to 2024-25 $29.1M Supporting Communities Manage Pest Animals and Weeds Program to deliver better solutions to combat established pest animals and weeds.

Nationally, the annual cost of established vertebrate pest animals is estimated to be $800M, and over $4 billion for weeds in terms of production losses and control activities.

The cost to the environment is difficult to calculate but is likely to be higher.

A 2019 ABARES survey found land managers spent an average of $8189 annually on pest animal management, up from $7304 in 2016.

Source: Federal Government

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