Yellow Crazy Ants eradication program expands in Cairns
Published Tuesday, 29 November, 2016 at 05:46 PM
Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
The Honourable Steven Miles
The Queensland Government has confirmed an $11.8 million program to tackle yellow crazy ants will proceed after the Commonwealth agreed to release its share of the funding.
The Commonwealth and State Environment Ministers authorised the Wet Tropics Management Authority (WTMA) to continue its work to eradicate yellow crazy ants in the World Heritage Area at a ministerial forum in Sydney on Friday (25 November).
Queensland Environment Minister Steven Miles said the Ministers had approved WTMA’s plan of operations for the year and also its budget.
“This new funding means that the proven program will continue and be expanded.
“The scaling up of this program is important to address this threat to this World Heritage Area and the farms and properties around Cairns, from one of the world's most invasive species.
“It will also allow the Wet Tropics Management Authority to build on its current mobilisation of farmers, local residents, Traditional Owners and the community to achieve local eradication in and adjacent to the World Heritage Area,” Dr Miles said.
Dr Miles said the respective governments have committed a combined total of $11.8 million over three years to the eradication program (Commonwealth $8.8M which includes $7.5M for eradication and $1.3M for extension, and Queensland $3.013M).
“WTMA presented a budget that included only Queensland’s new funding because those funds have already been released.
“But during the meeting I was pleased that Minister Frydenberg confirmed that the Commonwealth Government will be releasing the additional funds as promised.
"While we welcome this release of funds we continue to call upon the Commonwealth to commit the full 80 per cent usually provided by the Commonwealth for eradication programs.
“The community in Cairns have been eagerly awaiting the release of these funds and certainty for the continuation of the program.
“Minister Frydenberg and I will be meeting again with the Chair of WTMA in June 2017 and we’ve asked for a progress report on how the program is working towards its goal of eradicating this invasive pest,” Dr Miles said.
A formal communiqué from the meeting has been issued at: http://www.wettropics.gov.au/site/user-assets/docs/wtminfo-26-communique.pdf