Townsville to host 2016 Queensland Pest Animal Symposium

SSAA members keen to help curb the effects of pest wildlife should put a note in their diaries about an event sure to stir considerable interest. The fifth Queensland Pest Animal Symposium will go ahead at Rydges Southbank in Townsville, running from Monday, November 7 to Thursday, November 10. The occasion is aimed at operational staff and will be hosted by the Weed Society of Queensland (WSQ), which is committed to fighting the threat of weeds and pest animals. The Society was formed in 1975 with the goal of advancing the understanding of and need for weed management. In recent times, the Society has broadened its horizons to encompass pest animals and the WSQ-Pest Animal Branch was born.

The theme for the three-day symposium is ‘Options, Obstacles and Outcomes’ and it is anticipated that between 150 and 200 delegates will attend. Topics on the agenda will include new and existing management tools, decision support, costs and benefits, community initiatives, social issues, resource issues, cutting-edge research and the nitty-gritty of options, obstacles and outcomes. Abstract submissions were accepted before May 30.

There will be sufficient time set aside for networking and discussion during the event. Included on the schedule are a welcome reception, symposium dinner and industry breakfast. Trade displays will be a constant bonus during the get-together. Another highlight will be field trips pencilled in for Wednesday, November 9 to look at research and management developments linked to semi-urban and rural pest animal concerns throughout North Queensland.

Registration became available from June 13, while author notifications will be sent out from June 27. The deadline for full papers is August 22. An Earlybird registration rate is available for members until August 31 for $695. For non-members, the cost is $795. Full registration includes access to all sessions, catering (morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea), the welcome reception, field trip, symposium dinner, symposium proceedings, satchel and program. Full registration does not include the industry breakfast. This is an optional extra.

Keynote speakers will include Andreas Glanznig, Don Hine and Mark Read. Andreas is the CEO of the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre - Australia’s largest collaboration of governments, industry groups and research institutions, working together on national-scale pest animal management innovation. Don is Professor of Psychology at the University of New England. His work focuses on understanding human dimensions of environmental problems such as resource over-consumption, climate change, air pollution and invasive species. Mark is a wildlife biologist who specialises in conservation and management of wildlife and the habitats they rely on. He works with people to develop practical and pragmatic ways of minimising the impact of human-related activities on these species.

Symposium organisers expect those who will attend to range from public and private landowners to researchers and operational staff.

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