To effectively control invasive species, it is imperative all land managers play their part. The new Biosecurity Act reflects this through clear, tenure neutral management obligations for all landholders.
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However, inadequate resourcing of relevant government agencies limits the ability of public land managers to uphold their general duty.
This week, Labor announced a $50 million package to address pests and weeds if they are elected.
This figure mirrored NSW Farmers' call for pest and weed management as part of our FOCUS campaign, and should be used to fund local government, Local Land Services, invasive species coordinators and wild dog fencing.
NSW Farmers has been working with the Coalition to instigate regulatory changes that would make species control easier.
As a drought support measure, the NSW government made changes to the tagging and secondary use conditions for kangaroo management in August.
We call on the government to retain these changes, not only during drought, but anytime when numbers exceed the ten year average by more than 10 per cent.
Deer are another species where regulatory change is needed. The population is estimated to have doubled over the last decade and spread across more of the state.
However, onerous requirements under the Game Act still maintain a barrier to effective management. NSW Farmers continues to lobby for deer to be removed from the Game Act and be given the pest status they deserve.
Pest and weed management is sure to feature at the next NSW Farmers pre-election forum on biodiversity, in Cooma on March 14.
The forum will allow landholders to hear the views of all political parties on improving pest and weed management and other topics such as native vegetation and biodiversity legislation.
- Bronwyn Petrie, chair of NSW Farmers conservation and resource management committee.