Rate collection program begins to tackle weeds, pest animals
Aprogram to help combat weeds and feral animals will begin in the Harvey-Peel region to reduce the impact on agriculture and the environment.
The declared pest rate collection which funds the program has kicked off and will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the State Government.
The rate collection process is under way in Harvey, Waroona, Serpentine-Jarrahdale, Murray and Mandurah.
Activities as part of the program include rabbit control, tar- geted fox management and specialist advice to help landholders tackle cotton bush, Paterson’s curse, blackberry, arum lily, cape tulip and apple of sodom.
The strategic control efforts will be led by the Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group, which helps landholders and their communities reduce the impact of declared pests.
Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development acting invasive species director Victoria Aitken said the declared pest rate was vital to support the work of recognised biosecurity groups. “It’s is an opportunity for everyone to become involved in pest management and to share responsibility for their local community’s needs,” Ms Aitken said.
Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group chairman Vaughn Byrd said the group was experienced in co-ordinating programs and the declared pest rate process would allow the group to deliver a broader suite of programs.
“We have a diverse base of small and large landholdings which range in their pests of concern, and a co-ordinated approach like this helps to iden- tify where maximum benefits for landholders and the community can be achieved,” Mr Byrd said.
“Due to this wide diversity, our work isn’t focused solely on one pest. We aim to provide value for money across the board.”
Mr Byrd also stressed that without biosecurity groups driving the need for ongoing compliance, the focus on controlling declared pests may be lost.
Upcoming activity includes the release of rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus in November which has attracted involvement from about 40 landholders.
Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group members Samantha Pickering, Anthony Snell, Clifton Reynolds and Mike Burkett discuss pest issues for the region.