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Beyond the Bale : December 2018
48 ON FARM COLLABORATION COMBATTING INVASIVE SPECIES Woolgrowers will have more tools in the fight against pest animals thanks to a suite of new and innovative projects launched by the AWI-supported Centre for Invasive Species Solutions. AWI’s General Manager Research, Dr Jane Littlejohn, spoke at the launch of the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions’ first RD&E portfolio, emphasising the importance of national collaboration to achieve a significant impact on invasive species. The Centre for Invasive Species Solution is a national collaborative research, development and extension (RD&E) organisation, formed to tackle the ongoing threat from invasive species, such as wild dogs, foxes, rabbits, wild pigs and feral deer. It is the successor of the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre (IA CRC). The Centre has established a powerful member and partner collaborative RD&E platform that has initially brought together state, territory and federal government agencies, industry Research and Development Corporations (namely AWI and MLA), CSIRO and universities to focus on the development of improved tools and strategies that will strengthen management of vertebrate pests. The Centre is taking the best of the former IA CRC forward and is focused on ensuring transformational and on-farm outcomes for the agriculture sector. A total of 21 projects have been developed in the Centre’s first RD&E portfolio, in consultation with members and partners, and will focus on key invasive species problems. The portfolio was launched on 18 September by the Federal Minister for Agriculture, David Littleproud, at Parliament House, where he and other key agricultural and environmental stakeholders acknowledged the importance of continued investment in new tools and technologies to manage invasive species. “Farmers face huge costs, productivity losses and the spread of diseases at the hands of pests and weeds and keep fighting to stop them in their tracks,” Minister Littleproud said. “The 21 projects target pest animals in particular and will look at new management tools, better strategic decision making as well as community engagement and education.” The initial portfolio is worth a combined $48 million of direct investment and in-kind support, including a $20 million investment from the Australian Government – and $3.1 million of direct and in-kind funding from AWI to support the Centre’s continuing work on rabbit biocontrol, wild dog management strategies and community engagement and digital extension programs. AWI’s General Manager Research, Jane Littlejohn, emphasised at the launch that the vision for AWI is vertebrate pest management as a social norm in rural and regional Australia and all sectors strengthening their own commitment to the shared problem. “The Centre’s program will deliver more people, in more communities, accessing real time information on best practice and so making better decisions on-ground to keep the impact of pest animals at acceptable levels – and this is why we are supportive of and investing in the Centre’s activities,” Dr Littlejohn said. MORE INFORMATION www.invasives.com.au
In the Shops - March 2019