Expenditure on weed and pest animal management by Local and State Government and Regional Natural Resource Management bodies across Queensland is estimated to be around $80.5 million/year. Applying a production-based benefit-cost ratio of 2:2:1 (for every $1 invested in invasive plant and animal management, agricultural benefits total $2.20) suggests that direct agricultural benefit of this expenditure for the year totals $177.1 million (Economic Value of Invasive Plant and Animal Control in Queensland, AEC Group 2018).
We have a responsibility to minimise the impact of pest plants and animals that threaten the local ecosystems and impose high annual costs on our agricultural industries statewide. We are active in the control of pest plants and animals throughout the local government area, and recognise that improved coordination of effort is necessary in order to further reduce the impacts.
The Biosecurity Act 2014 requires local government to develop, adopt, and implement local pest management plans as part of an integrated planning framework for managing pest plants and animals across the state. The general principles of planning, prevention and partnerships underpin the process in developing the plan as well as the actions identified in the agreed strategies.
Our local area pest management plan links community expectations with agreed actions and evaluation, and is consistent with our Corporate and Operational Plans, state strategies, guidelines, plans and legislation.
Landholder Incentive Program
We loan a 300l Quik Spray unit to facilitate weed management on private land. Contact us for more information.
BQ Technical Highlights
At the end of each financial year, Biosecurity Queensland’s Invasive Plant and Animal Science unit publishes Technical Highlights. These reports document the latest achievements in each research project undertaken at four research locations. They also feature information on research staff, project funding, publications and presentations.
Our Tablelands Biosecurity Plan 2019–24 was endorsed in 2019 and is guided by the Biosecurity Act 2014 and based on a review of the TRC Pest Plan 2014–18. The purpose is to safeguard the region’s economy, environment, agriculture and tourism from pests and diseases.
The plan contains:
- an overview of the act and obligations for pest plant and animal management
- a summary of 20 plant and five animal pest species prioritised for our region
- action plans for control of the priority species.
The Tablelands Regional Council Invasive Plant and Animal Surveillance Program was also endorsed in 2019.
We need to ensure that management of certain biosecurity matter (invasive biosecurity matter) in our local government area complies with the Biosecurity Act 2014. To effectively fulfil our obligations we need to have appropriate delegation to carry out surveillance activities. This delegation is provided through the authorisation of a surveillance program which, as per section 233 of the Act, is directed at:
- monitoring compliance with the act in relation to a particular matter to which the act applies
- confirming the presence, or finding out the extent of the presence, of certain biosecurity matter
- confirming the absence of certain biosecurity matter
- monitoring the effects of measures taken in response to a biosecurity risk
- monitoring compliance with requirements about prohibited matter or restricted matter
- monitoring levels of biosecurity matter or levels of biosecurity matter in a carrier.
Delegations under the act refer only to the invasive species listed in the act. Locally declared and environmental weeds are not considered invasive biosecurity matter and have been removed from the surveillance plan.
When it comes to managing pest weeds and feral animals, we responsible for:
- ensuring that pest plants and animals are controlled within the TRC area as outlined in the Biosecurity Act 2014
- preventing the introduction and spread of declared plants and animals within the TRC area
- enforcing relevant provisions of the act.
The general biosecurity obligation under the act requires management to be matched to the level of harm or risk posed, and enables risks to be prioritised and responses customised to suit local conditions.
This includes taking all reasonable and practical measures to manage invasive species and to prevent spread to neighbouring properties by taking proactive steps to prevent incursions or incidents.
Typically biosecurity risks can be reduced by managing pests and diseases that may have negative impacts on neighbouring properties. This includes:
- carefully examining animals before transporting them to ensure they are not carrying pests or diseases that could affect agricultural industries
- spelling animals for a minimum of seven days when moving from infested areas to allow seed to pass
- closely inspecting pot plants and potting mix before transporting them to ensure they aren’t carrying pest ants or weeds.
The minimum actions required to satisfy the obligations of pest plant and animal management are to:
- provide and maintain access for pest control programs
- participate in baiting and trapping programs
- reduce priority weeds
- develop a property pest management plan and when required, a farm biosecurity plan
- prevent the spread of declared weeds by focusing on watercourses, roadways and property boundaries.
The following animals are considered to be pests in the TRC area:
Feral pigs are a major pest animal in the Wet Tropics area of Far North Queensland. Pigs damage the natural environment and pose a major threat to the conservation values of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. They cause significant losses to agricultural enterprises in the region, and harbour and spread diseases affecting native animals, stock and humans.
Some of the worst weeds found in our native bushlands have escaped from gardens. When invasive plants escape from gardens they can reproduce and aggressively invade natural habitats, crowding out and threatening native plants.