darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au 1300 131 785
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June 28, 2011

The devastating impacts of wild dogs on livestock and the socio-economic consequences on East Gippsland farming families will be debated in Federal Parliament next week.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has brought about the debate by moving a motion to highlight the need for a nationally consistent approach to effective wild dog control and ongoing Commonwealth funding to support research and on the ground work to reduce the impact of wild dogs.

Mr Chester said he was looking forward to the debate and the resulting response from the Gillard Government.

“I continue to speak with many local farmers deeply concerned by the ongoing damage and stock losses caused by wild dogs,” Mr Chester said.

“There is a strong case for additional Commonwealth funding for a national approach to better assist the States to develop localised programs to reduce wild dog numbers.

“I’m fully supportive of measures to help farming communities to tackle the problem and am looking forward to making sure this issue is at the forefront of the government’s feral animal control agenda when it is debated in Parliament next week.”

The Victorian Coalition Government has committed to introducing aerial baiting and a bounty system to reduce wild dog numbers. The aerial baiting program will begin in May 2012 with local wild dog committees to be restructured in the meantime to allow for greater local input and the development of local area plans. The program will operate in conjunction with the new bounty and existing control methods such as trapping, exclusion fencing, den fumigation and shooting.

Recently Mr Chester was told by Environment Minister Tony Burke that it is a challenge to reduce the number of feral animals as the Federal Government must act at the same time as the States.

“One of the challenges is that whenever we act we need to do it at the same time as the states are acting. Otherwise, all you do is keep trimming the numbers rather than making a real impact,” Mr Burke said.

Mr Chester said the Gillard Government now has a chance to work with the Victorian Coalition Government to fund additional control measures to tackle wild dogs.

“Farmers are unable to continue suffering such severe losses as a result of wild dogs, and I know of some that are contemplating whether to continue farming,” Mr Chester said.

“With a solid commitment by the Victorian Coalition Government to implement new measures to control wild dogs there is no better opportunity for the Gillard Government to come on board and provide funding and assistance that will benefit farming communities.”

Federal Parliament will debate Mr Chester’s motion on the next sitting day, Monday, July 4, 2011.

Full terms of Mr Chester’s motion:

That this House:
(1) notes:
(a) the social and economic impact of wild dogs on the sheep, cattle and goat industry across Australia;
(b) the environmental impact of wild dogs preying on Australia native wildlife; and
(c) that according to the Australian Pest Animals Strategy, pest animal management requires coordination among all levels of government in partnership with industry, land and water managers and the community; and

(2) highlights the need for a nationally consistent approach to effective wild dog control and ongoing Commonwealth funding to support research and on the ground work to reduce the impact of wild dogs on regional Australians.

(Notice given 2 June 2011)

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