Rate col­lec­tion pro­gram be­gins to tackle weeds, pest an­i­mals

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - NEWS - Sam Gibbs

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.

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