Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, announced $10.5 million in Federal Government funding for 23 new pest animal and weed control technologies. The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has welcomed this funding.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said the funded projects under the Control Tools and Technologies for Established Pest Animals and Weeds Programme would strengthen the management of some of Australia's most significant agricultural pest animals and weeds.
"The funding will be used to develop technologies such as herbicide spraying devices, automated traps and thermal aerial imaging for pest monitoring and optimise the use of chemicals, biological control agents.
"These new technologies will help to strengthen the fight against pests such as wild dogs, rabbits, foxes, feral pigs and donkeys and improve our management of established weeds, such as blackberry, gorse, prickly acacia, rubber vine, parkinsonia, mesquite and Chilean Needle grass.
NFF President Fiona Simson said it was good news for Australian farmers.
“Farmers care for more than 50% of Australia’s land mass – spending, on average, $19,620 a year on pest animal and weed control.”
The funding will facilitate 23 projects looking at novel initiatives such as new herbicide spraying devices, automated traps, thermal aerial imaging for pest monitoring, optimal use of chemicals and biological control agents.
Ms Simson said sound pest and weed control was an insurance policy for farmers.
“We depend upon on-farm biosecurity measures to maintain access to highly valuable global markets.
“Biosecurity is not a topic that ordinarily captures the public’s imagination but it is an issue that, if not taken seriously, could cost the farm sector millions of dollars.”
Today’s funding is part of the Government’s $50 million commitment to pest and weed control in the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.
“We congratulate Minister Joyce for recognising the importance of this issue and investing directly in solutions.
“We look forward to seeing what technologies emerge,” Ms Simson said.
The Established Pest Animals and Weeds Measure is a $50 million investment over four years to 2018-19 as part of the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, the Australian Government's plan for stronger farmers and a stronger economy.
For more information on grant recipients visit www.agriculture.gov.au/pests-diseases-weeds/pest-animals-and-weeds/wp-comp-grants-programme