Rural landholders will receive support to actively combat pest weeds and wild dogs with more than $125,000 budgeted for key environmental policies.
Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said $120,000 had been earmarked in 2018/19 to deliver Council’s revised Herbicide Subsidy Policy, which provided financial support to landholders in the eradication of pest weeds Parkinsonia, Rubber Vine, Chinee Apple, Prickly Acacia and Lantana.
Another $5,000 is allocated to assist landholders with the control of wild dogs, which are a high priority pest under the Burdekin Shire Biosecurity Plan 2016-2020.
Cr McLaughlin said pest plants and animals could have a negative effect on the environment, economy and human health.
“Although pest management is a responsibility of the landowner, Council takes a proactive role in providing assistance and encouragement to landowners to reduce the plant and animal infestations,” Cr McLaughlin said.
Under Council’s Herbicide Subsidy Policy, Burdekin landowners with a registered Property Biosecurity Plan can access financial support of up to 40 per cent towards the cost of herbicides, to a maximum amount of $1,600.
“Council is budgeting to spend $120,000 this year on herbicides, being offset by $72,000 in landowner contributions. Council funds the balance out of its Environmental Levy funds,” Cr McLaughlin said.
“The Herbicide Subsidy Policy was revised last year to ensure that the subsidies are provided to more landowners. This has been successful, with over 63 landowners accessing the subsidy this year alone.”
Cr McLaughlin said Council was also continuing with a new policy introduced last year to help affected landowners combat wild dogs.
“Wild dogs have an impact on the environment and stock and can be a threat to human health. Council provides financial support to eligible landholders of up to 33 per cent of the cost of the treatment to a maximum of $500,” Cr McLaughlin said.
Council has also committed to continuing with its Fox and Wild Dog Bounty Policy in 2018/19, with bounties of $28.00 for wild dogs, dingoes and foxes.