The Palaszczuk Government has provided an additional $7 million to local councils and natural resource management groups to manage invasive plants and animals and grow jobs in the sheep industry.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said more than $6 million of the funding from Round 3 of the Queensland Feral Pest Initiative (QFPI) had been allocated to assist regional communities to construct cluster fencing.
“Queensland’s sheep industry has been heavily impacted by the threat of wild dogs,” Mr Furner said.
“This funding targets drought-affected sheep and wool producing areas with projects managed by the Western Downs Regional, Maranoa Regional, Goondiwindi Regional and Southern Downs Regional councils, the Remote Area Planning and Development Board and Southern Queensland Natural Resource Management Group.
“Ultimately the goal is to bring large numbers of sheep back to these areas, and that means more jobs in a stronger Queensland economy.
“I’ve been in these communities and spoken personally to graziers who have benefitted from our investment in wild dog fencing.
“It means they have the confidence to invest in their flocks and that means support for jobs.
“This is about delivering on a 2017 election commitment and will provide another 2000 kilometres of fencing.
“It means Queensland will have nearly 9000 kilometres of cluster fencing.”
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development Mark Furner said more than $1 million had also been allocated for projects to tackle invasive plants and animals.
“The Fitzroy Basin Association has been allocated $318,000 to carry out an integrated pest management project to control wild dogs, feral pigs, feral cats, Harrisia Cactus and Parkinsonia in the Dawson and Isaac catchments,” Mr Furner said.
“Southern Gulf NRM has been allocated $553,000 to continue vital Prickly Acacia control in the Flinders River catchment and Whitsunday Regional Council will receive $133,400 to deliver more feral animal control activities in the Whitsunday region.”
Mr Furner said the latest round of funding was further demonstration of the Queensland Government’s commitment to the effective management of invasive plants and animals in Queensland.
“Over the past four years, the Queensland Government has committed $19.74 million to assist regional communities with the construction of cluster fences and the control of invasive plants and animals,” Mr Furner said.
“For example, under the first two rounds of the QFPI, nearly 7000 kilometres of fencing was constructed, protecting more than 400 sheep-producing properties from wild dogs.
“Invasive plants and animals impact on the lives of all Queenslanders and cost Queensland’s agriculture industry more than $600 million annually in lost production and in control costs.
“Investing in the QFPI is an investment in regional jobs and the regional economy.”