Producers and graziers across drought-affected areas of Queensland now have access to $9 million to help manage pest animals and weeds after a new federal government announcement on Wednesday.
Of the $9 million, $7 million will be allocated to wild dogs management and $2 million for weed control.
Minister for agriculture David Littleproud said this is about building long-term resilience for drought affected farmers by preparing them for better seasons and future droughts through improved production.
Mr Littleproud said the federal government’s total contribution to dog fencing in Queensland has totaled $20 million, while the state Labor government has invested $15 million.
“A cluster fencing project north west of Quilpie in Queensland has shown what can be achieved,” he said.
“Before the cluster fences, farmers said they were losing sheep and experiencing lambing rates of 30 per cent or less. After the fences were put up lambing rates bounced back to over 80 per cent.
“This funding will also help local producers and graziers fight insidious weeds like Prickly Acacia and Parthenium found in central and southern Queensland.
“Parthenium, regarded as one of the worst weeds in Australia, grows best in drought areas, as it competes with crops for nutrients and is toxic to cattle.”
Mr Littleproud said local councils in drought affected areas will be able to apply for a share in the funding and the timing of submission will be announced in due course.
- This funding is on top of $6.6 million announced in the recent federal budget to 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.