A new Rabbit Control Coordinator has been appointed as the Marshall Liberal Government is working with landholders to wipe out local populations of Australia’s most destructive environmental and agricultural pest.
South Australia’s new Rabbit Control Coordinator, Josh Rosser, has been funded as a partnership thanks to $260,000 from the Federal Liberal Government.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said the impact of rabbits on South Australia’s agriculture sector is estimated to be in excess of $30 million annually.
“Rabbits are a blight on the environment and require constant attention,” said Minister Whetstone.
“The cost of controlling rabbit populations and the economic impact these destructive pests have on South Australia’s agricultural industries is huge.
“That’s why the appointment of a Rabbit Control Coordinator in South Australia is important in ensuring the efforts of landholders, farmers and governments are integrated to achieve the maximum benefit in pest control.
“Mr Rosser will work to drive greater effectiveness from control programs and empower the community, conservation and farming groups to collaborate in managing rabbit populations.”
Liberal Candidate for Mayo Georgina Downer said rabbits readily adapt to local conditions and landscapes.
“While there is no silver bullet for the scourge of rabbits, it is important landholders do everything they can to manage numbers,” said Ms Downer.
“The coordinator will provide guidance about how landholders can complement widespread use of biocontrol agents, such as calicivirus, with regular baiting, fumigation and ripping of warrens.
“Funding from the Federal Government’s Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper will help bring South Australian biosecurity specialists together with landholders, fostering connections among community organisations and neighbours to promote shared action in rabbit control.”
Local Member for Kavel Dan Cregan said the Adelaide Hills has a precious environment supporting high value agriculture and it is important we protect the landscape from rabbit caused erosion.
“By providing information and advice on the right mix of best practice management, techniques and offering more training in strategic control, we can knock down rabbit populations and achieve longer periods of freedom from rabbit impacts,” said Mr Cregan.
South Australian landholder and industry groups interested in establishing local rabbit control programs can contact their local Natural Resources Centre (www.naturalresources.sa.gov.au) or the Rabbit Control Coordinator on 8429 3219.