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Ground-breaking research into wild dogs, feral rabbits, weeds and other pests will be expanded, thanks to a $20 million funding boost from the Federal Government.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has welcomed the additional funding for the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions, formerly known as the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre.

“The Centre for Invasive Species Solutions will continue its coordinated national approach to the management of pest species, including wild dogs and feral rabbits, to safeguard our nation’s $60 billion agriculture sector,” Mr Chester said.

“It’s estimated pest animals each year cost our nation around $620 million in lost production, while weeds cost an estimated $4 billion in control costs and production losses.

“In Gippsland, our farmers are continually working to combat these pests at a significant cost in time, effort and money – and that’s time, effort and money they would much prefer to spend on other aspects of their business.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Barnaby Joyce announced the funding for the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions (CISS).

“The Nationals, as part of a Coalition Government, strongly believe in pest and weed management as a vital tool for boosting the productivity and profitability of Australia’s agricultural industries,” Minister Joyce said.

“The CISS will bring together cutting edge research and development, providing innovative solutions to make managing the land easier for our farmers.

“The scale and complexity of the pest animal and weed problem needs a cooperative approach between governments, industry, business, universities and research agencies. If we are going to truly take on this national problem, we need to think big and think at a landscape scale.”

Chair of the CISS Helen Cathles said the new collaborative research and extension portfolio would have a national reach and deliver solutions to pest animal and weed problems.

“This is a very exciting time in land management and the government’s investment will see benefits for all Australians, the environment and agricultural productivity,” Ms Cathles said.

The Coalition Government is investing $50 million over four years as part of its Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper to tackle established pest animals and weeds, and a further $25.8 million for areas still feeling the on-going impacts of drought.

For more information, visit http://www.invasives.com.au/

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