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Funding boost to tackle pests and weeds in Murray

The Murray region has received almost $440,000 in funding for projects to tackle pests and weeds and build drought resilience.

Four projects across the region will share the funding, part of the $1.5 million 2018 Pest and Weed Drought Funding Program through the Australian Government Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.

Murray Local Land Services’ wild dog exclusion fencing program in the eastern Murray received $129,000 to extend existing barriers, and its pest animal monitoring program was awarded $34,680.

Two Central Murray County Council projects tackling boxthorns and pest animals in the Wandook and Wanganella areas received a total of $275,000.

Local Land Services CEO, David Witherdin, said the funding was allocated to organisations and groups from across the state without consideration to Local Land Services boundaries and targeted wild dogs, feral pigs, rabbit and deer and weeds.

“Groups have been awarded funding to target pests and weeds in their regions,” Mr Witherdin said.

“These projects will help land managers reduce grazing pressure and stock losses caused by pest animals, as well as to manage the spread of weeds.”

Murray Local Land Services Acting General Manager, Geoff Corboy, welcomed the funding announcement, particularly in light of the deepening drought.

“Managing pest animals is essential during dry times when feed supply is short and pests compete with livestock and native animals for pasture and groundcover,” he said.

“It’s really pleasing to see projects in this region getting recognition for their important role in reducing the impact of pests and weeds on agriculture and the environment.

Mr Witherdin said the funding program recognised that farmers were doing it tough in exceptionally dry conditions.

“This program is a way for the NSW and Federal governments to provide practical, on-ground assistance, as well as advice and support,” he said.

The funding program will complement the objectives of the Murray Regional Strategic Pest Animal Management Plan, developed by the Murray Pest Animal Committee in collaboration with key stakeholders.

Media contact: Geoff Corboy, Murray Local Land Services, Phone 0427 221 011