The McGowan Government will provide additional dry season assistance measures to strengthen feral animal control across the pastoral region and extend financial counselling support for regional small businesses.
The immediate support is on top of the State Government’s ongoing dry season response program, with Departmental officers continuing on-ground visits to support pastoralists with management and access to support services.
With feral animals moving across the rangelands in search of water, an additional $150,000 has been provided to support large feral herbivore control. This funding boost is in addition to the $150,000 provided in June 2019.
The Goldfields Nullarbor Rangelands Biosecurity Association will immediately receive $50,000 to control camels in priority areas like the Nullarbor, with a further $100,000 available to Recognised Biosecurity Groups operating in other parts of the southern rangelands for large feral herbivore control.
Where possible, pastoralists will be given an opportunity to deliver control services to provide an additional income stream.
The State Government will provide $160,000 over two years to extend free financial counselling services to regional small businesses experiencing financial hardship. The service will be delivered through Primary Production Services.
For pastoralists transporting stock south for either processing or feedlotting, the State Government is advancing plans for a Temporary Special Assistance permit to allow triple road trains to travel from Kalgoorlie to Esperance.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development continues to work with pastoralists through a dedicated response team, to help identify and implement appropriate dry season management actions and business decisions, with a focus on animal welfare.
As stated by Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
“Pastoralists are contending with very challenging seasonal conditions across large parts of the rangelands.
“We met with southern rangelands pastoralists last week, who told us feral animal control was an absolute priority: camels and horses are moving onto pastoral leases in search of water, damaging water infrastructure which is needed for livestock.
“We are providing extra funding to control these feral pests through Recognised Biosecurity Groups, which operate in these regions and are best placed to co-ordinate control efforts.
“The impacts of the season also extend to small businesses in regional communities that support and service primary producers, so we have extended funding for free rural financial counselling to regional small businesses.
“This is an immediate package to support pastoralists managing these conditions: we are continuing to work on developing long-term drought resilience across the State, and have met with the Commonwealth to put forward our proposals for innovative drought projects for the rangelands.”
Minister’s office – 6552 6200