Southern Gulf NRM has written to the Queensland Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, the Hon Mark Furner MP, calling on him to honour his commitment of $5M towards Prickly Acacia control.
The Minister's joint announcement made on 29 March with the then Australian Government Minister for Agriculture, the Hon David Littleproud MP could not be clearer, stating, "that's why the state and federal governments are contributing $5 million each over five years to run the program through to 2023-24."
Southern Gulf NRM believes he has subsequently appeared to back away from that commitment, citing previously announced funding under the Queensland Feral Pest Initiative as the Queensland commitment.
Southern Gulf NRM welcomes the Queensland Feral Pest Initiative funding for Prickly Acacia, but it amounts to only $553,000, well short of the Minister's previous commitment.
Southern Gulf NRM said producers had been battling the scourge of Prickly Acacia for many years in projects managed by Southern Gulf NRM.
"The February monsoonal floods will likely stimulate widespread germination of soil-stored seeds, potentially reversing years of good work," a Southern Gulf NRM spokesperson said.
"There is particular concern over the risk of spread to of Prickly Acacia to the relatively more fertile and higher rainfall lower gulf plains."
Southern Gulf NRM said projects were delivered under a soundly based control strategy that had the support of governments and all major stakeholders.
"The joint announcement on 29 March was a welcome reversal of a declining trend in Government support for Prickly Acacia control," the spokesperson said.
"Reneging on the commitment would be a slap in the face for Southern Gulf cattle producers who are still struggling to overcome the impacts of the February flooding."
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