Weeding out the best way to protect our farms

Senator Bridget McKenzie and Pat Conaghan MP examine Tropical Soda Apple on the Macleay River at Hickeys Creek with Kempsey Shire Council General Manager Craig Milburn
Senator Bridget McKenzie and Pat Conaghan MP examine Tropical Soda Apple on the Macleay River at Hickeys Creek with Kempsey Shire Council General Manager Craig Milburn

The Federal Government is funding the development of new or improved weed control and pest animal management tools through a $13 million competitive grant round.

Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan said the program was part of a four-year, $30.3 million funding pipeline to help farmers and land managers combat invasive weeds and pest animals.

"Weeds and pest animals cause significant damage to the environment as well as cost our farmers and land managers a great deal of time and money," he said.

"Tropical Soda Apple has been a problem around the Macleay River for some time and now weeds have been seen on the Coffs Harbour hinterland. And recently there has been an isolated outbreak of Parthenium weed in the upper Nambucca Valley.

"This program will help ensure we get on the front foot of the fight against these and other invasive weeds or pest animals and reduce their risk over time to our important agricultural industries."

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said the Advancing Pest Animal and Weed Control Solutions grant program was an innovative way of combating these significant threats to the nation's economy.

"Established pest animals and weeds are a significant threat for our economy, environment and industries, so we need to ensure we have the best tools available to manage them," Mr Littleproud said.

"Each year, the economic impact of established vertebrate pest animals is around $800 million, while weeds cost us over $4 billion in terms of production losses and control activities.

"Through this grant round, we are supporting more effective management of pest animals and weeds to reduce their devastating impact on Australia's agriculture and the environment.

"We will be funding projects led by organisations with a proven research and development capacity, that will target priority established pest animals and weeds.

"The grants will also support employment by providing funding to successful grantees over the next three years to carry out research and development."

Grant applications are open until 11pm on September 25. The minimum grant amount is $300,000 and the maximum grant amount is $2 million.

For more information about the Advancing Pest Animal and Weed Control Solutions grants program or to apply visit https://www.agriculture.gov.au/pests-diseases-weeds/pest-animals-and-weeds/grant-round

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