The federal Member for Maranoa, David Littleproud has called on the state government to match a federal government announcement on Monday of an additional $2 million of investment to control established pest animals and weeds in drought-affected regions across Queensland.
Mr Littleproud, who accompanied acting Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce for the announcement and to inspect a recently constructed cluster fence to combat wild dogs at Wyandra, welcomed the additional funding.
“Wild dogs are a serious pest here in the drought-stricken southern and central western parts of Maranoa, with farmers losing at least a month each year tackling the problem,” he said.
“The final in a series of ABARES reports showed that on average, each landholder surveyed spent about 26 days and around $7200 a year on wild dog management.
“I am proud to be part of a government that is taking decisive action to control and better target wild dogs. The funding of dog fencing is already playing an integral part in drought recovery plans, allowing producers to diversify into other livestock, like sheep and goats, which can create more immediate income streams"
"Our investment is delivering for our local economies with increased farm productivity and lambing rates, together with increased employment and spending in our rural towns.”
Mr Joyce said the funding would build on the $15 million worth of projects nationwide already provided for under this measure and target areas of greatest need.
“The Coalition government is helping limit the harmful impact of weeds and pest animals on farmers, the environment and our economy, which are felt particularly hard during times of drought,” Mr Joyce said.
“Using rainfall information to identify regions in the most need of this assistance, it was agreed that Queensland will receive $2 million, which is half of the additional funding in 2016-17, and New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia will receive $500,000 each.”
Mr Joyce said the money was proof of further delivery of the Coalition government’s Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.
The Commonwealth will work with the various state governments to identify projects that target these funds where they are most needed and are likely to have the biggest impact.
- 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 June 2016/17)
- The Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper has invested:
- o $50 million over four years to tackle established pest animals and weeds
- o A further $25.8 million specifically for areas still feeling the on-going impacts of drought