Pest fight pro­posal

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - News - Chloe Fraser

BLACKWOOD Biose­cu­rity Inc has joined the Statewide fight on de­clared pests, call­ing on the sup­port of land­hold­ers to man­age pest species through a pro­posed rates-based fund­ing process.

Recog­nised by the Depart­ment of Pri­mary In­dus­tries and Re­gional De­vel­op­ment, the not-for-profit group is the first of its kind in the South West to con­sider an an­nual de­clared pest rate for land­hold­ers on ru­ral and ur­ban land.

The rate, which would see land­hold­ers pay a yearly fee of $40 for prop­erty in town and $50 in ru­ral ar­eas, will be matched dol­lar-for-dol­lar by the State Gov­ern­ment in a bid to pro­mote com­mu­nity-led pest con­trol.

Blackwood Biose­cu­rity chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Sheila Howat said while pest species were of­ten dif­fi­cult and ex­pen­sive to con­trol, rates-based fund­ing could pro­vide land­hold­ers with po­ten­tial an­nual fund­ing to ad­dress the spread of de­clared pests.

“The point is to keep it (the money) lo­cal,” Ms Howat said.

“The com­mu­nity will have a lot of in­put as to which species im­pacts them.

“The money can only be in­vested in ar­eas where the funds were raised and could change fo­cus de­pend­ing on what the com­mu­nity is af­fected by.”

Ms Howat said pest pri­or­i­ties for 2018/19 in­cluded plant species such as cape tulips, cot­ton bush, Pater­son’s curse, cleavers and bridal creeper as well as foxes, feral pigs and wild rab­bits.

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