THE war on wild dogs has received a $1.35 million boost to support the continued roll-out of the National Wild Dog Action Plan over the next two years.
The additional funds, announced on Friday by Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce and Eden-Monaro MP Dr Peter Hendy, are also expected to act as a lever for attracting co-investment dollars from industry and other governments.
In the previous year, the government provided $280,000 start-up funding towards the Plan, which funded a number of outcomes including the updated PestSmart Connect National Wild Dog Action Plan portal, launched early last week.
“Wild Dogs are a very big issue throughout Eden-Monaro, but particularly here on the Monaro and down through the high country,” Dr Hendy said.
Dr Hendy said the additional $1.35 million would ensure national coordination and on-the-ground methodologies for wild dog management were accessible, reliable, and available and were used to the greatest effect possible.
He said it would also deliver support projects and would strengthen the on-ground work that is already being pursued.
"Success was dependent on industry, farmers, state and territory governments and the community all playing a role,” Mr Joyce said.
"The Plan provided a model for industry-led action and it was up to all of us to make a difference – ‘working together-working smarter’."
Dr Hendy said wild dogs are estimated to cost Australia’s agricultural sector up to $66 million per year through livestock losses, disease transmission and control costs.
“But as I speak to graziers throughout the electorate, I understand that you cannot put a dollar figure on the stress, heartache, and frustration these attacks cause,” Dr Hendy said.
The funding complemented the $8.8 million the government has already committed through the drought assistance package for pest management across Australia, as well as an additional $25.8 million under this year’s budget to continue to manage the impacts of pest animals and weeds in drought-affected areas.
“Eden-Monaro contains one of the most important sheep grazing districts in the country – not only for wool production but also breeding programs that the industry acknowledge as being amongst Australia’s best," Dr Hendy said.
“Wool exports alone were worth $2.9 billion to the national economy in 2013-14. This investment is essential to the long-term protection of the contribution that our livestock industries make to Australia,” Dr Hendy said.
WoolProducers Australia facilitated the development of the National Wild Dog Action Plan in collaboration with the wool, sheepmeat, cattle and goat industries and the Australian, state and territory governments.
The implementation of the action plan was managed by a steering committee drawn from key stakeholders and supported by a stakeholder consultative group.