Greens MP Cate Faehrmann today launched the Greens biosecurity plan for the NSW election, saying that urgent reforms are needed to improve the independence and accountability of biosecurity and calling for a $200 million increase over the next four years in funding for pest, weed and feral animal control.
As part of this plan, Ms Faehrmann also called for the repeal of legislation protecting feral horses and a humane, professional cull of feral horses in Kosciuszko National Park
“We cannot take shortcuts when it comes to biosecurity,” said Greens MP Cate Faehrmann.
“Feral animal populations are exploding, and noxious weeds are out of control. If we do not make a significant investment now in eradication and control we will regret it in years to come.
“Alongside climate change and habitat destruction, invasive species are the biggest threat to biodiversity. The costs to agriculture and our economy are far too great to muck around.
“That is why the Greens are announcing support for a $200 million injection of new funding into pest, weed and feral animal control over the next four years.
“The Greens have also developed a comprehensive package of policy reforms which will ensure there is independent oversight, an increased focus on responding to environmental threats, and improved ability to rapidly respond to new incursions,” Ms Faehrmann said.
The Greens plan calls for:
- a $200 million increase in funding for pest, weed and feral animal control
- a $5 million/year High Risk Incursion Response Fund for environmental threats
- repeal of legislation protecting feral horses and a humane, professional cull of feral horses in Kosciuszko National Park
- a ‘permitted list’ approach to the sale of plants
- clear targets for prevention, eradication, containment and control of pests, weeds and feral animals and comprehensive statewide mapping
- lethal feral animal control to be undertaken by professionals and landowners, not recreational hunters
- investment in research into non-lethal feral animal control
- three yearly State of Biosecurity reporting
- an Independent, statutory State Biosecurity Committee
- joint responsibility for biosecurity to both the Agriculture and Environment Ministers
“The fragile and unique Kosciuszko National Park is under attack. The NSW Government is protecting destructive feral horses at the expense of Kosciuszko’s incredible natural values and threatened species.
“Guided by experts and the best available science, the Greens policy is for a 90% reduction of feral horses in Kosciuszko NP within 3 years.
“This would be achieved using all effective and humane control methods including professional aerial and ground shooting and mustering, trapping and rehoming where possible. The Greens also support a longer term goal of full eradication for feral horses in the area and will prioritise the rehabilitation of areas of Kosciuszko National Park impacted by feral horses to date.”
“The introduction of a State of Biosecurity report every three years, will ensure that we have relevant and up to date information about the status and condition of existing biosecurity risks, trends and future threats as well as the effectiveness of existing programs.
“It is alarming that, despite the annual cost of weeds to agriculture and the public being about $1.8 billion in NSW alone, the NSW Government has refused to provide the independence and regulatory teeth necessary to ensure that we have an effective approach to preventative weed control.
“The Greens are calling for a ‘permitted list’ approach to the sale of plants in NSW, as this is an essential step to ensuring that new and potentially devastating weeds do not infest our agricultural land and fragile ecosystems,” Ms Faehrmann said.
Contact: Cate Faehrmann - 0412 207 043