The sale of 15,000 megalitres of water to help drought-affected farmers is now benefitting pest control programs in the state.
The NSW Government will announce today that farmers and regional communities are set to benefit from a $1.5 million boost to the existing $6 million for pest management, bringing the total spend to $7.5million.
Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair said pest animals are often concentrated during dry times; making control more effective and allowing tools like biocontrol agents to be strategically distributed.
“This additional spend will allow us to trial predator control on an extremely large scale, spanning the North Coast and Northern Tablelands regions, to ‘reset’ pest animal populations at a lower level,” Mr Blair said.
“Effective management of pest animals is not only critical to helping our farmers manage stock through the drought, but also to ensure young and vulnerable animals are protected as farms restock when the drought eventually breaks.
“The big focus for this funding is targeting wild dogs, foxes, feral pigs and deer by using a combination of approved control measures including aerial shooting (feral pigs and deer) and baiting (feral pigs, foxes and wild dogs).
“It also supports containing species that have the capacity to spread quickly such as cane toads to north of the Clarence River and red eared slider turtles to the Greater Sydney and Hunter regions.”
The additional funding to manage priority pest animals and invasive plants comes from the sale of 15,000 ML of environmental water by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. Up to 15,000 megalitres of NSW water previously reserved for environmental purposes was made available for purchase by farmers earlier this year.
The sale of water was completed in October. All money from purchase of the water will be used for priority drought-related projects agreed between OEH and Department of Primary Industries. The list of projects to be funded is currently being finalised. Water was sold through standard market processes (using agents and on-line trade platforms) to other water access licence holders. OEH was not able to condition how the water sold was to be used, OEH advised.