Weeds and pests boost

Southern Riverina news - - RURAL OUTLOOK -

The Mur­ray re­gion has re­ceived al­most $440,000 in fund­ing for projects to tackle pests and weeds and build drought re­silience.

Four projects across the re­gion will share the fund­ing, part of the $1.5 mil­lion 2018 Pest and Weed Drought Fund­ing Pro­gram.

A wild dog ex­clu­sion fenc­ing pro­gram in the east­ern Mur­ray has re­ceived $129,000 to ex­tend ex­ist­ing bar­ri­ers, and a pest an­i­mal mon­i­tor­ing pro­gram was awarded $34,680.

Two projects tack­ling box­thorns and pest an­i­mals in the Wan­dook and Wan­ganella ar­eas re­ceived a to­tal of $275,000.

Lo­cal Land Ser­vices CEO David Witherdin said the fund­ing was al­lo­cated to or­gan­i­sa­tions and groups from across the state with­out con­sid­er­a­tion to Lo­cal Land Ser­vices bound­aries and tar­geted wild dogs, feral pigs, rab­bit and deer and weeds.

‘‘Groups have been awarded fund­ing to tar­get pests and weeds in their re­gions,’’ he said.

‘‘These projects will help land man­agers re­duce graz­ing pres­sure and stock losses caused by pest an­i­mals, as well as to man­age the spread of weeds.”

Mur­ray Lo­cal Land Ser­vices act­ing gen­eral man­ager Ge­off Cor­boy wel­comed the fund­ing an­nounce­ment, par­tic­u­larly in light of the deep­en­ing drought.

‘‘Man­ag­ing pest an­i­mals is es­sen­tial dur­ing dry times when feed sup­ply is short and pests com­pete with live­stock and na­tive an­i­mals for pas­ture and ground­cover,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s re­ally pleas­ing to see projects in this re­gion get­ting recog­ni­tion for their im­por­tant role in re­duc­ing the im­pact of pests and weeds on agri­cul­ture and the en­vi­ron­ment.’’

Mr Witherdin said the fund­ing pro­gram recog­nised that farm­ers were do­ing it tough in ex­cep­tion­ally dry con­di­tions.

‘‘This pro­gram is a way for the NSW and Fed­eral gov­ern­ments to pro­vide prac­ti­cal, on-ground as­sis­tance, as well as ad­vice and sup­port,’’ he said.

The fund­ing pro­gram will com­ple­ment the ob­jec­tives of the Mur­ray Re­gional Strate­gic Pest An­i­mal Man­age­ment Plan, de­vel­oped by the Mur­ray Pest An­i­mal Com­mit­tee in col­lab­o­ra­tion with key stake­hold­ers.

Ge­off Cor­boy.

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