FRAMEWORK TO WEED OUT INVASIVE PLANTS AND ANIMALS

Posted on 19. May, 2010 in Victoria

Protecting our parks, waterways, biodiversity and agriculture from the threat of invasive plants and animals through early intervention and eradication is the key element of a strategy released by the Brumby Labor Government today.

Launching the Invasive Plants and Animals Policy Framework, Environment and Climate Change Minister Gavin Jennings and Agriculture Minister Joe Helper said invasive species had a major negative impact on the environment as well as agricultural productivity which affects the sustainability of rural communities.

“Strong communities need a healthy environment which is why we are working in partnership with the community to address the serious issue of invasive species,” Mr Jennings said.

“The Invasive Plants and Animals Policy Framework aims to protect our native flora and fauna from harm while also preventing losses to primary producers.

“The Australian Bureau of Statistics has estimated the direct cost to agricultural businesses in Victoria of controlling weeds to be $253 million and can cause increased fuel loads for fire, alter water flow through aquatic systems and cause erosion. Yield loss and control costs are passed onto the consumer.

“Invasive animals such as wild dogs, foxes, feral cats and pigs threaten have contributed to the decline, and in some cases extinction, of numerous native fauna species. Ground-nesting birds, small animals and reptiles are particularly at risk.

“This framework recognises that community-led action and support of major stakeholders are essential to complement the roles of land and natural resource managers.”

Mr Helper said the Invasive Plants and Animals Policy Framework will be released in four modules and focus on preventing and eradicating invasive species before they took hold.

“We all know what can happen with an invasive animal such as rabbits, once they start breeding they are quickly out of control. The best strategy is prevention before matters get out of hand,” Mr Helper said.

“The first module will deal with invasive land-based plants and animals, the following three will cover land invertebrates, freshwater fish and invertebrates and marine pests.”

Mr Helper said the Invasive Plants and Animals Policy Framework aligns with the Biosecurity Strategy for Victoria released last year and would set a comprehensive risk management approach for key stakeholders such as catchment management authorities that would then inform the actions of grassroots conservation groups and landholders.

For more information and the full version of the IPAPF, visit the website   www.dse.vic.gov.au

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