More funding to fight pests and weeds
22 March 2019
- $30.3 million over four years to fight established pests and weeds
- Aims to deliver biological controls, map pests and train farmers
- A bait to kill feral pigs and herbicide to clear irrigation channels were created by past investment from this program
A $30.3 million investment from the Coalition Government will help farmers and land managers stamp out pest animals and weeds.
This investment comes despite the fact states are responsible for pest and weeds.
Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said the funding would be available from July 2019, with the total $30.3 million to be distributed over four years. Some $23.7 million of this is money has not been announced previously.
“Pest animals and weeds hurt farmers’ hip pockets,” Minister Littleproud said.
“$20 million will aim to hit priority pests and weeds with biological controls, key infrastructure and using technology to locate and treat weeds. Grants will be given to organisations which can deliver those things. The idea of new biological controls really excites me. We need to dare to dream – imagine a biological control for blackberries or foxes.
“This portion of the funding will also aim to get more farmers using pest and weed control, giving out grants to deliver training and materials to farmers on the ground.
“In the past, this funding has produced a bait to kill feral pigs and herbicide to clear irrigation channels of hidden weeds. It has also delivered wild dog fencing, which has improved lamb survival rates out of sight in many areas.
“Some $10.3 million will be invested in mapping the distribution and impact of pest animals and weeds, and measuring their impacts in different places, so we can target resources better. This will include mapping changes to the distribution of pests as climate shifts and help with sharing information between different regions.
“Weeds cost Aussie agriculture around $4.8 billion each year, not to mention the drain on time and resources. Pest animals then add an extra $800 million in losses and control costs.
“We’ve invested $76 million over the past four years and we’ll continue to invest because we know how important pest and weed control is, but the fact is State Governments need to do their bit too.
Details of funding allocations and availability will be announced in the coming months.
- New funding of $23.7 million from 2020–21 to 2022–23 along with $6.6 million in 2019–20 announced in the Budget.
- Australia has about 3,200 introduced plants and around 500 are considered weeds.
- At least 73 introduced animals now have feral populations.
- The bill for weed control is around $4.8 billion a year including production losses. Pest animals are estimated to cost up to $800 million.
- The Australian Government committed $76 million through the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper to tackle pests and weeds from 2014–15 to 2018–19 with $25.8 million going to drought-affected areas.
- The government invested another $15 million in 2018–19 to support communities in drought to manage pests and weeds.
- Also $20 million invested in the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions, which is running 21 new projects to help prevent, detect and manage invasive pests.