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Applications now open for $3 million pest and weed drought funds

Land managers and community groups in the Western region are encouraged to apply for funds through the $3 million 2015-16 Pest and Weed Drought Funding program.

Applications are open until 4 April 2016, with the program being administered by Local Land Services using funding through the Australian Government Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, the government’s plan for stronger farmers and a stronger economy.

Chair of the Local Land Services Board of Chairs, Tim De Mestre said the funding is available to help reduce grazing pressure and stock losses from pest animals and reduce the spread of weeds.

“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,” Mr de Mestre said.

“Pest animals also prey on stock that concentrate around fewer watering points.

“Drought conditions also reduce the competitiveness of native vegetation and provide new opportunities for weeds to become established.

“Importing fodder and grain into drought areas can also bring new weed problems to the region.”

Individuals, groups and organisations are welcome to apply for funding, which will be allocated through a competitive assessment process.

Local land Services Western Region’s acting General Manager, Erlina Compton, said a wide range of activities were undertaken in the 2014-15 program, including programs targeting wild dogs, foxes and feral pigs.

“Activities included establishment of pest control groups, coordinated ground baiting, trapping, aerial baiting and culling programs, pest control training courses, and research into innovative new baiting techniques,” Ms Compton said.

The level of funding will vary, depending on the project type, with infrastructure projects funded on a dollar-for-dollar basis where the land manager matches the government contribution.

To obtain the funding guidelines and application form, land managers in drought-affected areas should contact their nearest Local Land Services office or visit www.lls.nsw.gov.au

Media contact: Michelle McGranahan 0428 784 282