Joint media release: $29.1 million to manage established pest animals and weeds

12 May 2021

The Hon. David Littleproud MP, Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, Deputy Leader of the Nationals
The Hon. Sussan Ley MP, Minister for the Environment

•    Budget will deliver $29.1 million to support farmers and land managers to manage established pest animals and weeds
•    The funding is part of the Australian Government’s broader biosecurity support package worth over $400 million

A new $29.1 million investment confirms the Australian Government’s long-standing commitment to supporting farmers and land managers to manage established pest animals and weeds.

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud and Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said the funding was part of the Australian Government’s broader biosecurity support package with over $400 million announced in this year’s Budget.

“Pest animals and weeds not only reduce agricultural productivity, they also damage natural resources.” Minister Littleproud said.

“That is why the Australian Government remains committed to supporting on ground efforts to fight the significant impacts of feral animals and weeds on our producers.

“The investment complements the significant reforms we are committing to across our biosecurity system, to ensure it is modern, efficient and keeps Australia safe from pests and diseases that would harm our agricultural industry.

“Innovation in pest animal management is fundamental to the transformation of Australia’s biosecurity system and achieving the industry’s vision of reaching $100b in value by 2030.”

Minister Ley said the funding would help protect native species from the significant threats invasive pest animals and weeds present to our natural environment.

“Millions of native species die each year because of pest animals and weeds and this budget measure will fund practical on ground collaboration with local Natural Resource Management groups, and state and territory governments to tackle pests, and to prioritise new research for innovative pest reduction technologies,” Minister Ley said.

“Feral pigs can wreak havoc on turtle populations; deer, pigs and hard hooved animals destroy fragile native habitat and feral cats claim the lives of millions of birds and small reptiles each year.

"As part of this program, Indigenous rangers will also play an important role, with $4 million over four years to undertake on-ground pest management control and to protect biodiversity and cultural values.

“These new initiatives complement existing investments in bushfire recovery for native wildlife and habitat, safe havens, and our new ten year Threatened Species Strategy.”

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  • This Budget builds on actions already taken by the Australian Government to drive agriculture’s competitiveness and growth, laying the foundations to support industry reach the target of $100 billion in farmgate value by 2030
  • The Agriculture 2030 package is about removing the handbrakes to growth, tackling emerging trade challenges early, protecting our country from pests and disease, supporting industry resilience and productivity, boosting innovation and human capital availability
  • Funding builds on the $30.3 million Established Pest Animals and Weeds Management Pipeline program
  • Despite drought, COVID-19, floods and fires, the farming, fishing and forestry sectors are projected to be worth $71.2 billion in production value this year
  • ABARES is forecasting a record high $66 billion in farm production value this year
  • Nationally, the annual cost of established vertebrate pest animals is estimated to be $800 million and over $4 billion for weeds in terms of production losses and control activities. Their impact on the environment is difficult to calculate but likely to be higher.