​Media Release

​Innovation to curb pests and weeds​

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce​
Member for Calare, Andrew Gee​


27 October 2016

  • $10 million in new funds for innovative Control Tools and Technologies for Established Pest Animals and Weeds Grants.
  • Pest animals and weeds cost farmers around $4 billion a year in livestock losses, disease transmission and controls and weed management costs.
  • Grants will invest in projects to develop new or improved tools or technologies to control established pest animals and weeds – for example; pesticides, herbicides and poisons, baits, biological control agents such as viruses, insects and fungi or mechanical devices such as lethal trap devices and drones. 

Innovative technology projects such as pest animal facial recognition systems, drones, lethal traps, viruses and poisons may be eligible for funding under a new grant scheme to better control pest animals and weeds in Australia. 

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Barnaby Joyce said the Coalition Government would invest $10 million in grants to give those who know the land best the support to pursue development of new or improved technologies and tools.

Researchers, universities, governments, primary industry organisations and even individual farmers partnering with eligible companies or organisations can apply,” Minister Joyce said.

“Farmers and land managers know their land best, each day they battle with the impact of pest animals and weeds on the environment, their productivity and property value, and they are looking for innovation to make managing their land easier.

“The Coalition Government is serious about reducing the impact of pest animals and weeds, investing $50 million to the Established Pest Animals and Weeds Initiative under the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.

These grants are part of this commitment, and I encourage pest animal and weed researchers and innovators to apply for funding. Partnerships are highly encouraged.”

The announcement comes following the NSW Vertebrate Pest Management Symposium in Orange which highlights new developments in science, policy and practice. 

Member for Calare Andrew Gee said pest animals across Calare include wild dogs, foxes and feral pigs, and weeds include blackberry and serrated tussock.

“Every year pest animals and weeds cost our farmers around $4 billion in livestock losses, disease transmission and controls and weed management costs,” Mr Gee said

By providing people on the ground with access to better control tools and more effective technologies to manage pest animals and weeds, we give ourselves the best chance in the fight against this significant risk to our $58 billion agricultural industry and our environment.”

To apply, or to find out more about established pest animal and weed funding, visit agriculture.gov.au/ control-pest-animals-weeds-grants​

Applications close 5 pm, AEST 23 January 2017. For more information on the $4 billion Ag White Paper visit agwhitepaper.agriculture.gov.au​.

FAST FACTS:

  • Every year established pest animals and weeds cost our farmers in excess of $4 billion in livestock losses and weed management costs.
  • Australia’s agricultural production industry is worth over $58 billion (ABARES Agricultural Commodities Report September 2016/17).
  • The Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper has invested:
    • $50 million over four years to tackle established pest animals and weeds
    • A further $25.8 million specifically for areas still feeling the on-going impacts of drought

Types of control tools to control established pest animals (excluding invertebrates) and/or weeds:

  • Chemical—chemicals (such as pesticides, herbicides and poisons) and changes or extensions to chemical usage patterns and associated delivery systems (such as baits or lethal trap devices).
  • Biological—biological control agents (such as viruses, insects and fungi).
  • Physical—mechanical devices or technologies (such as traps).

Applicants could include:

  • research and development corporations
  • primary industry organisations
  • state, territory or local government department and agencies
  • corporate Commonwealth entities
  • tertiary education institutions such as universities
  • research agencies or organisations, including cooperative research centres
  • individuals partnering with eligible companies or organisations.