Feral pests.
Feral pests. SSAA CWM Queensland

Wide Bay's $375K funding boost

A COORDINATED approach to tackling invasive weeds and pest feral animals in the Wide Bay Burnett region has received a huge boost.

The Wide Bay Burnett Regional Organisation of Councils, in partnership with the Burnett Mary Regional Group, gained $375,000 in funding from the Department of Agriculture as part of the Better Partnerships Project.

The project is part of a package to implement the recommendations of a 2015 Biosecurity Capability Review, which was announced in the 2016-17 Budget and provided $10.8million of additional funding over four years.

The two-year funding will provide for the employment of a regional biosecurity coordinator, public awareness education, and project money and is set to help the Wide Bay Burnett Regional Organisation of Councils manage invasive plants and animals.

Chair of WBBROC, councillor Mick Curran said the boost in funding was "wonderful news".

"This will really help our land protection officers work in a coordinated way across council boundaries," he said.

"If a certain pest animal or weed is being controlled in one area, by working together we ensure that they don't simply escape across the council boundary."

It is understood that once a regional coordinator is recruited, work will begin on developing plans for tackling weeds and pest animals across the region.

According to WBBROC, invasive plants and animals can be a real threat to agricultural industries and the environment.

"WBBROC, BMRG and local councils want to work with the industry to keep a vigilant eye on any new threats and put in place strategies for dealing with such threats," a release stated.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the project would build on existing alliances to improve Queensland's biosecurity outcomes.

"Local government, natural resource management groups and a diverse range of stakeholders already make a significant contribution to managing biosecurity at a local level," he said.

"The Better Partnerships Project will create even stronger, more robust collaboration.

"The two regional biosecurity plans and delivery frameworks will be developed collaboratively as pilot projects and used as best practice models for Queensland."

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