(Photo: John Virtue)
Recent letters sent to:
- Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell, Minister for the Environment and Heritage
- Senator the Hon. Ian Macdonald, Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation
- The Hon Warren Truss MP, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Our members are concerned that the Government has not recognised the community interest in preventing further weeds entering Australia, and spreading within Australia. There is much to be done with weeds. Firstly, I would like to acknowledge that the National Weeds Strategy has achieved much, however it does not go far enough.
We saw the Australian Government respond to the salvinia outbreak in the Hawkesbury Nepean River recently, despite salvinia being on the Weeds of National Significance list since June 1999, little was done by the Australian Government to prevent the problem developing. The regional NRM approach adopted by the Commonwealth has ensured that national approaches are not implemented, as the regional bodies will only respond after the weeds become widespread like we saw in the Hawkesbury River.
What is the Australian Government planning to overcome this problem with weed management?
The Weeds CRC recently published some statistics suggesting the scale of weeds impact on natural resources and biodiversity, water resources and ecosystems far exceeds that of other threats. There is much that is achievable with weeds. In many cases we know how to prevent weed problems. The solution includes stopping more weeds being imported, finding new invasive plants that are already in Australia, eradicating new invasive plants, appointing weeds technical support people to complement the community support officers already in regional bodies, tackling not just 20 weeds nationally, but increasing that to 50 and raising the communitiesí awareness of weeds. Furthermore, the programs that enable community groups to take action need real funds to turn the dreams of the many community groups into reality.
Is the Australian Government planning to close the loopholes that allow more plants to be imported without risk assessment?
Is the Australian Government proposing to provide funds to ensure that the CRC for Australian Weed Managementís National Action Plan is implemented?
Richard J Carter