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“The impact of invasive species on agriculture, the environment, and social amenity are well documented, as are the negative implications that these have on the whole of society, particularly the sustainability of rural and regional communities”, said Mayor Les Hotz.

“It is widely known that feral pigs play a part in the transmission of Foot and Mouth disease, that feral cats and foxes have a devastating effect on our native fauna, and that weeds like Cat’s Claw Creeper can cause the destruction of watercourse vegetation. It is also widely accepted that we must look to more effective ways to manage invasive species”, Mayor Hotz elaborated.

One novel approach tackling the problem of invasive species is the recently launched “Building an Invasive Species Management Alliance Project”, which aims to examine a more collaborative land owner led response, at a local and whole of landscape level. The Alliance Project will look to further develop, promote and encourage the establishment of land owner led group syndicates to tackle both weeds and feral animals.

A series of workshops will soon be held across the Burnett and Gympie regions, sharing best practices from existing wild dog control syndicates operating in the South Burnett Region. The workshops will also encourage participating land owners to join forces, to manage feral animals and weeds, collaboratively.

The project will provide incentive/seed funding and mentoring from various community groups already involved in such syndicates, to assist land owners wishing to start their own groups. A ‘Project Coordinator’ will manage the project, run workshops and support developing groups under the oversight of a Steering Committee.

The gradual roll out of the Alliance Project will focus on building stronger regional biosecurity frameworks, by creating more grass roots collaborative arrangements. Successful outcomes from the novel approach will help inform a potential model that could be further applied within and across our council regions and in other areas of Australia.

The Alliance Project is funded by the Queensland and Australian Governments, as part of the Queensland Feral Pest Initiative. If you would like to know more about the project, please contact lead agency contact – South Burnett Regional Council’s Natural Resource Management Coordinator, Jim Willmott on (07) 4189 9100.

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