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Innovation to curb pests and weeds

Innovative technology projects such as pest animal facial recognition systems, drones, lethal traps, viruses and poisons may be eligible for funding under a new grant scheme to better control pest animals and weeds in Australia. 

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Barnaby Joyce said the Coalition Government would invest $10 million in grants to give those who know the land best the support to pursue development of new or improved technologies and tools.

“Researchers, universities, governments, primary industry organisations and even individual farmers partnering with eligible companies or organisations can apply,” Minister Joyce said.

“Farmers and land managers know their land best, each day they battle with the impact of pest animals and weeds on the environment, their productivity and property value, and they are looking for innovation to make managing their land easier.

 “The Coalition Government is serious about reducing the impact of pest animals and weeds, investing $50 million to the Established Pest Animals and Weeds Initiative under the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.

“These grants are part of this commitment, and I encourage pest animal and weed researchers and innovators to apply for funding. Partnerships are highly encouraged.”

The announcement comes following the NSW Vertebrate Pest Management Symposium in Orange which highlights new developments in science, policy and practice.

Member for Calare Andrew Gee said pest animals across Calare include wild dogs, foxes and feral pigs, and weeds include blackberry and serrated tussock.

“Every year pest animals and weeds cost our farmers around $4 billion in livestock losses, disease transmission and controls and weed management costs,” Mr Gee said

“By providing people on the ground with access to better control tools and more effective technologies to manage pest animals and weeds, we give ourselves the best chance in the fight against this significant risk to our $58 billion agricultural industry and our environment.”

To apply, or to find out more about established pest animal and weed funding, visit agriculture.gov.au/pests-diseases-weeds/pest-animals-and-weeds.

Applications close 5 pm, AEST 23 January 2017. For more information on the $4 billion Ag White Paper visit agwhitepaper.agriculture.gov.au.

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