Funding the WA front line against wild dogs and weeds
7 August 2018
- New investment targeted at pests and weeds in drought-affected areas of WA.
- Investment will fund control measures, with a focus on wild dog fencing.
- Pests and weeds are another problem our farmers face during drought.
Producers and graziers across regional Western Australia will be able to better manage pests and weeds thanks to $1.5 million from the federal Coalition Government.
Visiting WA today to attend Lambex, a big event on the calendar for the sheep and lamb industries, Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said the funding was part of the Coalition Government’s response to ongoing drought conditions.
“I want to stop these pests in their tracks, especially wild dogs,” Mr Littleproud said.
“While a lot of the conversation over east has been about the drought on the east coast, I am constantly keeping across conditions in the west.
“Pest animals and weeds require constant management by farmers and with parts of Western Australia in drought, it just another issue to cope with.
“Wild dogs target vulnerable stock our farmers are working hard to produce and protect, hurting their livelihoods.
“Weeds such as Parkinsonian, which invades rangelands, are a serious problem for pastoral areas. Mesquite, an evergreen shrub which invades rangelands, would cost Western Australia $12 million each year if not managed.
“More money for dog fencing means more jobs for towns across regional WA, and that means more money flowing through to our small businesses.
“The battle against pests and weeds is vital to protect and grow the WA agriculture industry, currently worth around $9 billion to the economy.
“The government’s program is not about set and forget. On the weekend we announced extra support for drought affected farmers, now worth a total of $576 million.
“All of these drought measures—the Farm Household Allowance, mental health services, the Rural Financial Counselling Service—apply to WA farmers and I would urge them to discuss their situation with the Rural Financial Counselling Service on 1800 686 175.”
- The $1.5 million in funding applies eligible drought affect areas.
- This funding is on top of $6.6 million announced in the recent Federal Budget to continue the fight against established pests and weeds.
- Every year established pest animals and weeds cost our farmers in excess of $4 billion in livestock losses and weed management costs.
- Wild dogs alone are conservatively estimated to cost the agricultural sector up to $89 million per year.
- 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.