More support in the battle against established pest animals and weeds

2 September 2020
  • $3.5 million for research and development into improved pest animal and weed control tools and technologies.
  • Projects include herbicide discovery, fireweed biocontrol, feral pig landscape genetics and better tools and strategies for vertebrate pest animal management.
  • The $13 million Advancing Pest Animal and Weed Control Solutions research and development competitive grant round announced last month will build on these projects.

The Australian Government is continuing to support the fight against established pest animals and weeds with $3.5 million in funding for a range of new research and development projects.

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud, said the projects look at important tools for farmers and landowners including potential new herbicides, fireweed biocontrol, better understanding of feral pig populations, more effective pest animal detection technologies and coordination of feral deer control.

“Established pest animals and weeds cost farmers billions of dollars in lost income and control efforts every single year,” Minister Littleproud said.

“There are approximately 500 introduced plants in Australia that are considered weeds, and at least 73 introduced animals which have established feral populations.

“We need to help farmers deal with these threats, and provide them with knowledge, skills, tools and technologies that they can use to better manage pest animals and weeds they encounter every day.

“The government has a strong track record in funding research and development into improved pest animal and weed control tools and technologies.

“Through the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, the Australian Government provided $42 million to limit the impact of established pest animals and weeds on Australian agriculture and increase the adoption of ‘farm ready’ control tools. Through this initiative, $13 million supported over 30 research and development projects on a range of control solutions.

“The government has also provided $20 million to establish the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions, with the aim of developing a strong collaborative research, development and extension strategic partnership network across government, industry and community. 

The projects announced today further build on these investments.

“Last month I also announced the $13 million Advancing Pest Animal and Weed Control Solutions research and development competitive grant round. This is part of the $30.3 million Established Pest Animal and Weed Management Pipeline program.

“The grant round will fund a range of exciting and innovative research and development project proposals that aim to help farmers, land managers and rural communities to better manage established pest animals and weeds.

“We have resilient farmers and land managers in our region who do a great job managing the impact of pest animals and weeds on their land, but we need to keep up the supply of the most effective tools to them.

“The projects announced today, along with the research and development competitive grant round, will help ensure Australia remains on the front foot in the fight against established pest animals and weeds and minimise the risks they pose to our agricultural productivity and environment.”

For more information about the Advancing Pest Animal and Weed Control Solutions research and development competitive grants visit: agriculture.gov.au/pests-diseases-weeds/pest-animals-and-weeds/grant-round.

For more information on pest animals and weeds visit: www.agriculture.gov.au/pests-diseases-weeds/pest-animals-and-weeds  

Fast Facts:

Project details:

  • Weeds of National Significance (WoNS) Herbicide Discovery, University of Queensland – $299,830 – This project builds on research undertaken by the University of Queensland, in collaboration with Bayer, through the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, to discover broad-spectrum herbicides and/or WoNS-specific herbicide candidates.
  • Fireweed biocontrol, CSIRO – $291,500 – This project will support the importation and assessment of a stem boring weevil in Australia and undertake further assessment of the viability of several additional moth species in South Africa to combat Fireweed.
  • Feral pig landscape genetics, CSIRO – $160,000 – A pilot project is being undertaken by CSIRO to determine if feral pig sub-populations can be identified. Using DNA samples from 200 feral pigs from northern and southern populations, CSIRO will compare the performance of tissue, blood and hair samples for genetic testing. 
  • Centre for Invasive Species Solutions (CISS) – $2.75 million – The nine recently launched collaborative projects will contribute to better detection technologies, potential new biocontrol/genetic agents and enhanced national coordination of feral deer control. 
    • CISS has also recently launched its newly upgraded PestSmart website with a new Community Action portal, The PestSmart website can be accessed via pestsmart.org.au