Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce
QLD Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, William Byrne
More funding to target pest animals in drought-affected areas
11 June 2015
Applications are invited for pest animal management projects in drought-affected areas across Queensland after the success of existing programmes that have seen thousands of wild dogs, feral pigs and feral rabbits destroyed through targeted control measures.
Federal Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said the programme, funded by the Australian Government and delivered by the Queensland Government, was an important element of effective drought support.
“Managing pest animals is even more important during times of drought when their impacts on stock, pasture and groundcover are heightened,” Minister Joyce said.
“On top of the $8.8 million we have already committed to pest management programmes across Australia, we are delivering an additional $25.8 million under this year’s Budget to continue to manage the impacts of pest animals and weeds in drought-affected areas.
Queensland Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Bill Byrne, said more than $3.5 million had been allocated so far to eleven projects.
“These projects have seen trapping support for pest animals provided to landholders who collectively manage 5.5 million hectares and aerial shooting undertaken across 1.4 million hectares,” Minister Byrne said.
“Aerial baiting has also been provided to landholders who collectively manage eight million hectares, as well as on-ground baiting across more than 10 million hectares, and baiting and monitoring equipment deployed on a further 300,000 hectares.
“The majority of these projects complement existing wild dog and feral pig management programs in drought-affected areas west of the Great Dividing Range, however support was also provided to eastern shires when they were in drought for wild dog, feral pig and rabbit management east of the Range.
“Around $2.1 million remains from the original federal allocation, plus we are negotiating with the Federal Government on Queensland's share of the new $25.8 million. We are inviting organisations, landholders and local governments in drought-declared areas to work together to submit a regionally agreed application.”
Minister Byrne said the funding was separate and in addition to the $5 million for wild dog and cat eradication that was an election commitment and was recently confirmed by the Premier.
“We are still consulting with stakeholders about the most effective way to use that money.
“It is imperative that we lessen the burden on farmers and communities where wild dogs and other feral pests are a significant problem,” Minister Byrne said.
Minister Joyce said that many farmers had specifically requested that this money go towards wild dog fencing projects so as to again provide opportunities for diversification into sheep in these areas when the drought breaks.
“Fencing provides long lasting production benefits plus the construction will bring much needed investment and employment to local towns,” Minister Joyce said.
“Any fencing however must enclose an area that can then be effectively rid of dogs. Further priority should be given to those proposals that both benefit the largest number of producers and provide the greatest value for the government’s investment.”
The Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries will be meeting with state agencies, local government and industry to identify organisations that can lead and develop regional projects.
Landholders in drought-declared areas seeking assistance with feral animal control should contact their local council, NRM group, Agforce or QFF representative about making a joint application.
For further information on how to apply for feral animal drought funding, call DAF on 13 25 23 or visit www.daf.qld.gov.au.
For more information on the range of Australian Government assistance available to farmers, farm businesses and rural communities, visit agriculture.gov.au/assistance.