Funding boost to halt cane toad invasion

31 Aug, 2009 09:37 AM
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The Federal Government has allocated more than $1 million in extra funding to help slow the advance of cane toads into Western Australia, Queensland and NSW.

Environment Minister Peter Garrett and Agriculture Minister Tony Burke announced the funding, under Caring for our Country.

Projects to receive the Caring for our Country funding are:

  • Stop the Toad Foundation Inc (Perth-based)– $204,000 for community control activities
  • Kimberley Toad Busters Inc. – $200,000 for community control activities, community research and a forum to bring cane toad researchers, experts and toad busters together in Kununurra, Western Australia
  • University of Sydney – $621,000 to research cane toad communication and to investigate ways to help threatened northern quolls survive the threat of cane toads

Mr Garrett said the Government recognised that on-going community efforts could make a real difference in the fight against cane toads moving into the Kimberley.

"Cane toads have a significant effect on native wildlife, poisoning small native animals that prey on them, and competing with native animals for food," he said.

"With this additional funding, a total of at least 3000 days of community volunteer control efforts will have been supported by Caring for our Country in 2008-2010, buying valuable time while research continues into biological control measures."

Mr Burke said investment in scientific research was essential for both productive agricultural industries and a sustainable environment.

"Pests have a significant effect on farming productivity and cause maj environmental damage each year – scientific research will help to reduce that toll," Mr Burke said.

"Recently I released a report showing invasive pests cost state and federal governments and landholders more than $740 million each year.

"Under Caring for our Country we committed $57.5 million for 57 feral animal control projects across Australia, including more than 600 days of community volunteer cane toad control."

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