Ag White Paper delivers $3 million to combat pest animals and weeds in drought affected areas of NSW
The Australian Government continues to deliver on its commitment to help drought affected farmers, providing $3 million to the New South Wales Government for pest animal and weeds management, in line with its commitment under the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, and New South Wales Minister for Primary Industries, Lands and Water, Niall Blair, said the Australian and New South Wales governments would team up to tackle wild dogs, feral animals and pest weeds in drought affected parts of the state.
Minister Joyce said NSW farmers experience wild dog attacks and feral pigs, rabbits, goats, deer and invasive weeds and is pleased that this funding will allow the NSW Government to invest in strengthened fencing and tools that provide improved on-farm pest and weed control.
“Wild dogs are estimated to cost our agriculture sector up to $66 million per year in livestock losses, disease transmission and controls—and that doesn’t even account for the distress and frustration wild dog attacks can cause,” Minister Joyce said today.
“The impacts of pest animals are felt even more keenly during drought, putting additional pressure on farm productivity and profitability at a time when farm operations are already under strain.
“This is why, through the Ag White Paper, we are committed to delivering real, practical support to communities doing it tough because of drought.”
Minister Blair said the funding will build capacity in terms of infrastructure and skills to provide immediate and ongoing benefits to pest animal management in NSW.
“Dry conditions often provide a great opportunity to reduce the impacts of pest animal congregations and it is important to prevent the recovery of pest animal populations as areas come out of drought,” Mr Blair said.
“The NSW Government will work closely with the Australian Government to determine priorities for pest animal research and management under the Ag White Paper.”
Local Land Services will soon call for expressions of interest from interested parties to apply for funding to deliver projects under the pest weed and animal control program.
“Projects will be coordinated through Local Land Services in drought affected areas and areas recovering from drought,” Mr Blair said.
“Local Land Services will be working with affected farmers who can use their local knowledge and skills to the greatest effect.”
Minister Joyce said: “We understand that many producers across New South Wales continue to feel the impacts of drought, and we are committed to ensuring they have access to real, practical support when they need it most.
“We are already delivering on our commitment under the Ag White Paper to invest $2.97 billion to support farmers and rural communities to strengthen drought preparedness and risk management, and another $100 million in total to pest and weed management and eradication.”
“This includes drought concessional loans—which are now available in New South Wales—as well as additional community mental health and family support; more funding for Rural Financial Counselling Service providers in drought affected areas; and projects to help farmers manage risk by providing more localised, accurate climate forecasts, and to help them evaluate options for insurance and risk management.”
For more information on the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, visit agwhitepaper.agriculture.gov.au.
The Australian Government has a range of support measures available for farmers and rural communities experiencing drought and other hardship, including concessional loans, income support through the Farm Household Allowance, and free financial counselling through the Rural Financial Counselling Service. For more information, visit agriculture.gov.au/assistance.