Biosecurity Queensland is inviting property owners and other affected parties to provide feedback on the future management of weed and pest animals in Queensland. The feedback will help inform the Queensland Weed and Pest Animal Strategy 2016-20 in preparation for the Biosecurity Act 2014 (the Act) commencing on 1 July this year.
Dr John Robertson, general manager for Invasive Plant and Animals with Biosecurity Queensland, said the feedback process was the final stage of consultation, following significant previous consultation with industry representatives on the Queensland Invasive Plant and Animal Committee over the past year to develop the draft strategy. “It’s important that land managers as well as government have a clear understanding of their responsibilities when it comes to managing weed and pest animals,” said Dr Robertson. “Under the new Biosecurity Act everyone, including landholders, will need to take an active role in managing biosecurity risks under their control.”
According to Dr Robertson, it is estimated that pest animals cost Queensland $215 million each year. The pest animals prey on livestock, cause crop losses, compete for pasture and spread disease. “This doesn’t include uncosted environmental and social impacts such as disease spread and traffic hazards - so in reality the cost is much higher,” he said. “Invasive weeds are also a challenge, costing the state an estimated $600 million each year in primary production losses and control costs, and degrading the natural environment.”
“Clearly defined and accepted roles and responsibilities are crucial to the success of minimising these impacts through long-term management of weed and pest animals in Queensland,” continued Dr Robertson. “That is why community and industry leadership and cooperation in the planning and development of strategies is key to maximising the benefits of weed and pest animal management...I encourage anyone who has an interest in, or if you believe you will be affected by, weed and pest animals in Queensland to provide feedback on how we manage them into the future.”
The public consultation process will run until 5pm, Tuesday 26 April 2016. You can have your say online on the future management of weed and pest animals in Queensland or phone the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries on 13 25 23 to find out how to provide a written submission.