With joint state and federal funding set to run out in June, the Greens have pledged $30 million to extend the Yellow Crazy Ant Eradication Program and fund a coordinated eradication program in Townsville, protecting North Queensland’s ecological health and tourism industry from one of the world’s most invasive species.
The Greens will provide:
- $20 million to the Wet Tropics Management Authority to continue its Yellow Crazy Ant Eradication Program for five more years, including intensive monitoring to be confident of complete success
- $10 million to fund a coordinated Townsville eradication program.
As stated by Greens deputy leader and Queensland Senator Larissa Waters:
“A responsible government would recognise that failing to invest in finishing the job threatens the eradication work done to date and puts the Wet Tropics tourism drawcard at risk. But the Morrison Government is more interested in space lasers and throwing billions at coal and gas multinationals.
“Eradicating Yellow Crazy Ants will help to protect biodiversity, strengthen agricultural productivity, improve the region’s resilience to other threats – particularly climate change – and protect thousands of jobs.
“It should be a no-brainer, yet funding for the eradication program in the Wet Tropics runs out in barely two months. Meanwhile, there is almost no funding to manage the Townsville outbreak they’ve been warned of for years.
“Full eradication within the Wet Tropics must be the end goal, and is still possible with proper investment. That must be matched with a fully-funded eradication program in Townsville, built on the successful WTMA model.
“The Greens will fund both programs for five years to get the job done, protecting nature, farmers and the tourism industry. We’re calling on the Federal and Queensland Governments to match our commitment so critical eradication gains made to date are not undone.”