Australian Government spending of $20 million, matched dollar for dollar by State and Territory governments, will go towards funding collaborative on-ground management of problematic pests and weeds, Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud and Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley announced this week.
The funding expands on the $29.1 million Supporting Communities Manage Pest Animals and Weeds Program (2021-22 to 2024-25) to deliver better solutions to combat established pest animals and weeds. The total program funding is now $49.1 million.
It brings Australian Government investment in established pest animal and weed management programs to over $330 million since 2015 (2014-15 to 2024-25).
Nationally, the annual cost of established vertebrate pest animals is estimated to be $800 million 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 $8,189 annually on pest animal management, up from $7,304 in 2016.
The projects funded are focsed on reducing 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.
“I welcome the commitment from my state and territory colleagues to co-invest with us to address this significant issue.”
Minister 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.
Source: Federal Minister for Agriculture. For more information see: Pest animals and weeds in Australia – DAWE