Perrett blasts State Government 'laziness' on feral pests
GYMPIE MP Tony Perrett has blasted the State Government's "wilful ignorance" and "laziness" in managing feral pests and invasive weeds.
Principal Petitioner and Environmental Science student Daniel Boniface proposed a "three-year trial of conservation hunting in Queensland State Forests" in September, and has since received 9868 signatures.
Mr Perrett said time would tell on whether or not the government "has recognised that it needs to improve its approach to the management of feral animals and invasive weeds on State controlled land".
"Every control option should be on the table and the State Government needs to work with industry organisations, local government which is at the frontline, and the landowners themselves to combat these pests," he said.
"The petition highlights the government's wilful ignorance, disinterest, laziness, or at best apathy about the management of feral pests on its land.
"The extent of noxious and invasive weeds such as giant rat's tail grass, cat's claw creeper, lantana, and feral pigs, wild dogs, feral cats and rabbits is widespread.
"As a grazier and landholder I have been dealing with the destructive impact of feral animals and invasive weeds all my life. Landowners need strategic support from the government."
Mr Perrett said he was open to discussion on proposed feral game hunting in state forests.
The Shadow Agriculture Minister said he had also been left frustrated by the "stalled" Parliamentary inquiry into invasive weeds "which was supposed to be delivered last year".
Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said there were "no plans to change the legislation, which has been in place for almost 60 years".
"Protected areas and forests are public lands established to provide for conservation while supporting a range of nature based recreational and tourism pursuits. Allowing recreational shooting is inconsistent with the management intent of these areas. QPWS already undertakes pest control through its network of trained and accredited rangers and contractors."
The Queensland Government Department of Agriculture website said "the true cost of pest animals to Queensland's economy is unknown and difficult to quantify".
The website estimated feral pigs alone reduced grain production by $12 million a year, while wild dogs cost $33 million a year in livestock losses, diseases spread and control.
The petition is available to sign here.