MEDIA RELEASE: Shires join forces to eradicate pasture pest

Published: Monday, 13 July 2020 at 4:34:00 PM

The Shires of Collie, Dardanup and Donnybrook Balingup have joined forces in a bold plan to eradicate blackberry in local catchments and waterways, due to its destructive impact on agricultural production.

Following a successful grant application, the three local governments will receive $945,798 from the Federal Government’s Communities Combating Pest and Weed Impacts during Drought Program to fund the project.

All three shires were eligible to apply for the Federal funding as agriculture was proven to be a major economic driver across the region and blackberry had become a major problem by invading pastures and restricting livestock access to water.

The South West WA Collaborate Declared Weed Management Scheme will involve a united and strategic approach to controlling declared weeds in the region.

The objective of the scheme is to assist the local community in the management of pests that have a negative impact on agricultural production.

Shire of Collie Shire President Sarah Stanley said “we hope that by working together to eradicate blackberry, we eradicate the financial and environmental costs associated with it. The projects undertaken as part of the scheme have the added benefit of providing a boost to the local economy and facilitate local employment in the area.” 

The impacts of pests and weeds during drought have detrimental economic, social and environmental effects.

The agricultural industry employs over 680 people and generates over $286 million, across the three shires.

Dardanup Shire President Mick Bennett said: “Agriculture is a major industry for all three local governments.”

“We share borders and we share water catchment areas. It is important that we protect this industry through biosecurity management.

“The projects that form part of this scheme will provide much needed assistance to our local farmers and offer long term sustainable management of weeds.”

The initial focus of the joint scheme will be on blackberry, a declared pest that is a major problem in the South West.

Donnybrook Balingup Shire President Brian Piesse: “Blackberry affects entire regions, so it is important we work with our neighbouring shires in order for this project to be effective.”

Feral animals in the area, such as pigs, foxes and rabbits also harbour in the thick blackberry plants.

Landowners within the Shire of Donnybrook Balingup, Dardanup and Collie who have been impacted by weeds during drought are encouraged to contact their local Shire for more information about the South West WA Collaborate Declared Weed Management Scheme.

ENDS

 

Media contacts:        

Communications Officer Karis Aplin

08 9780 4200

karis.aplin@donnybrook.wa.gov.au

 

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