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Councils fight back against pests

Fighting back project
The management of pest animals including feral pigs will be part of the Fighting Back Project

A consortium of Wide Bay Burnett Councils has been successful in receiving funding for its Fighting Back Project to manage pests in the Wide Bay Burnett.

The Fighting Back Project was developed by the WBBROC Invasive Species Advisory Committee on behalf of Bundaberg, South Burnett and North Burnett Regional Councils.

$338,000 has been granted through the Federal Government’s Round 2 of the Communities Combating Pest and Weed Impacts During Drought Program – Biosecurity Management of Pests and Weeds.

The funding will go towards the delivery of two initiatives:

  1. Expansion of existing surveillance and control activities for three high-priority prickly bushes in the upper catchment of the Burnett River; and
  2. The development of community-led pest animal working groups to coordinate landscape-scale pest animal management activities.

Bundaberg Regional Council’s Natural Resources and Environment portfolio spokesperson, Cr Wayne Honor, said the two projects will be very important to the whole area.

“The Fighting Back Project will continue the development of a sustainable regional biosecurity framework to manage the impact of pest animals and high-priority prickly bushes in the Wide Bay Burnett region,” he said.

“The Project aligns with the Wide Bay Burnet Regional Biosecurity Strategy 2017-22 and aims to build resilience within our communities by reducing the impacts posed by pest animals and weeds.”

The two initiatives delivered through the funding will be essential to working towards the eradication of three prickly bushes – honey locust, African boxthorn and prickly acacia – in the upper Burnett River and the management of pest animals that are impacting the region’s agricultural industries.

“The funding will allow the consortium of local governments to engage additional local contractors, including regional First Nation organisations, to support local government’s biosecurity activities, including survey and control activities for prickly bushes and pest animal trapping and fencing activities,: Cr Honor said.

“It comes at an important time for our region, with our farmers being impacted firstly by drought and now the coronavirus pandemic.”

The Wide Bay Burnett Fighting Back Project will begin in June and is expected to be completed by the end of December 2021.

Fighting back project
Prickly acacia, one of the high priority prickly bushes targeted in the Fighting Back project
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