Hunter community has a say on pest animal management

Wild dogs, along with foxes and deer, were identified as the top priority pest animal species in the Hunter region.
Wild dogs, along with foxes and deer, were identified as the top priority pest animal species in the Hunter region.

Local Land Services has received more than 400 public submissions about 11 draft regional strategic pest animal management plans, after a recent six-week consultation.

The draft plans were a direct result from the NSW Government after a Natural Resource Commission report into pest animal management.

Local Land Services Chair, Richard Bull, said nearly 50 face-to-face information sessions were held across the State to explain how the plans were developed, what they mean for land managers and the community and how to provide input.

Hunter Regional Pest Committee chair Art Brown said there had been great interest across the community about the plans and what they mean at a local level. The Hunter region incorporates the MidCoast Council area.

“We received 37 responses about the Hunter draft regional plan, we are now incorporating that feedback to make sure we’ve got the plans right and that they meet the needs of our region,” he said.

“The top priority pest animal species in our region include wild dogs, foxes and deer and we’ve outlined tools and best practice methods to help contain and control these species.

“Once in place, the plans will provide a funded and coordinated approach to the management of pest animals under the Biosecurity Act,” Mr Brown said.

The Hunter region is well placed to implement these plans. Hunter Local Land Services have already tripled the operational funds for biosecurity with an annual program of $1.4 million.

Mr Bull said the plans will also guide investment decisions for existing government, industry and individual landholder resources that can be dedicated to coordinated pest animal management.

“With the introduction of the Biosecurity Act 2015, the regional strategic pest animal management plans can be used by all community members to meet their general biosecurity duty obligations,” he said.