Increased base funding allows for long term strategic weed management

Released 18/11/2015

The ACT Government has increased recurrent base funding for environmental weed management to $1.2 million per annum in order to deliver a long term strategic and targeted annual weeds program, said Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Shane Rattenbury.

“Environmental weeds can spread aggressively and cause damage to the environment, the economy and animal health,” said Mr Rattenbury.

“This Government recognises the importance of having a targeted annual environmental weeds control program and over the past two budgets has increased base funding to allow for a longer term strategic planning outlook to weed control.

“I agree with comments from Nicole Lawder that we don’t want stop-start funding, but rather than one-off project funding as she suggests, we need to ensure that we have reliable base funding so that we can do long-term strategic planning.

“In 2015-16, the Government increased base weed management funding to $1.2m per annum, up from $759,000 in 2014-15, and $513,000 in 2013-14. This funding now makes up 79% of the total budget of $1.526 million, two years ago ongoing base funding was only 22% of the weeds funding.

“We know that a successful management strategy must look to the longer term, with sites regularly re-treated to ensure infestations are kept under control, which is why the Government has changed its approach to funding, allowing ongoing surety of funding for projects rather than funding for particular weed infestation problems.

“This year’s budget also saw a boost to funding for ParkCare, whose volunteers make a significant contribution to weed management in the territory.

“TAMS, in conjunction with ParkCare groups, will deliver $1.526 million of environmental weed control work throughout the Territory – focusing on priority species for control such as serrated tussock, St John’s wort, blackberry, African lovegrass and Chilean needle grass.

“The Government has also committed $2.678 million over four years in response to recommendations from the Auditor-General’s Report into the Restoration of the Lower Cotter Catchment for land management in the catchment.

“This Government recognises that an effective weed control program is an important element of its land management effort and will continue to strengthen the resilience of our natural environment by controlling environmental weeds.

- Statement ends -

Section: Shane Rattenbury, MLA | Media Releases

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