· $10.4 million war on weeds, rabbits under a re-elected Liberal Nationals Coalition
· Supporting councils to control pest weeds and rabbits on rural and regional roads
· Liberal Nationals Coalition delivering for Victoria’s farmers
A re-elected Victorian Coalition Government will commit a further $10.4 million over the next four years to assist rural and regional councils to fight the war on pest weeds and rabbits on municipal roadsides.
Minister for Local Government Tim Bull and Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh today announced the Victorian Coalition would be extending the Government’s successful Roadside Weeds and Pests Management Program if re-elected on 29 November to help build a sustainable Victoria.
Mr Bull said rural roadsides can be a major corridor for the spread of weeds and rabbits, which in turn can threaten the state’s agricultural productivity, biosecurity and environmental assets.
“The Coalition recognises the challenges facing small rural and regional councils in managing assets and controlling pests which is why we are committed to providing local government with this funding assistance,” Mr Bull said.
“This renewed commitment provides for a more than doubling of the level of assistance provided to councils under the previous Labor Government.
“By committing a further $10.4 million to roadside weed and rabbit control if re-elected, the Coalition will be helping put more downward pressure on council rates.”
Mr Walsh said 56 rural and regional councils will benefit from the extended roadside weeds and rabbit control program.
“The Coalition has worked constructively to build a partnership between the Department of Environment and Primary industries and the local government sector to clarify responsibilities for the control of pest weeds and rabbits on roadsides,” Mr Walsh said.
“Councils have reported treating more than 14,000 kilometres of roadsides for rabbits and weeds over the past two years under this program.
“Funding will be strictly targeted to deliver on-ground works controlling pest weeds and rabbits.”
Mr Walsh said the Coalition has given councils the ability to set roadside pest management plans in
consultation with their communities to target weed and rabbit control activities where they would have the greatest positive impact.
The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) has strongly supported this Coalition election commitment with VFF president Peter Tuohey welcoming the extra investment in roadside pests and weeds.
“It’s vital that councils get the funding they need to manage pest and weeds along these road corridors, given their resources,” Mr Tuohey said.
“If councils don’t do this work these roadsides end up acting as a breeding ground for weeds and vermin to invade our farms.”
Mr Bull said Labor had failed to commit to the roadside weeds and rabbits control program meaning rural rates would rise and farm biosecurity would be threatened under an Andrews Labor government.