$8.5m to fund war on weeds

THE NSW Government will spend more than $8.5 million to fight the spread of noxious weeds across the State this financial year, Minister for Primary Industries, Ian Macdonald, announced this week.

Minister Macdonald said the noxious weeds grants would be allocated to local councils and other weed control authorities to enable them to carry out specific activities above and beyond their normal weed control programs.

“Noxious weeds are an important and costly issue for the State's agricultural sector and our economy as a whole,” Mr Macdonald said.

“Weed control is extremely costly to the NSW agricultural sector, averaging $1.2 billion a year and impacting greatly on waterways and the environment. “There are more than 100 individual weeds threatening more than 200 plant and animal

species in NSW.”

Mr Macdonald said weeds funding has been allocated to local councils and the other weed control authorities on recommendations from the Noxious Weeds Advisory Committee.

“Funding is being spent at a grass roots level because councils and other weed control authorities know which weeds cause the most problems and which emerging weeds need to be targeted,” he said.

“Allocations will be used to finance noxious weed control campaigns, help combat new weed incursions before they get a foothold, and administer education and training programs.

“High priority weeds this year include serrated tussock, parthenium, and aquatic weeds such as alligator weed and water lettuce”.

“This year's noxious weeds grants include new projects in the Hunter, Central Coast, North Coast, Riverina and south west Sydney areas”.

“More than $1 million has been allocated to help raise awareness of noxious weeds and provide training for weed control staff”.

“The importance of the threat posed by aquatic weeds is acknowledged with $273,000 being allocated towards a coordinated aquatic weeds response,” Minister Macdonald said.

2009 noxious weeds grants include:
• $1.445 million for Macquarie Valley
• $1.331 million for Riverina
• $1.233 million for Southern Tablelands and South Coast
• $988,500 for Northern Inland
• $892,182 for North Coast
• $849,210 for Sydney Basin
• $385,500 for Mid North Coast
• $542,720 for Hunter and Central Coast
• $208,081 for Lachlan

The NSW Government provides funding of up to a dollar to match each dollar contributed by the local control authority for approved projects.


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