Benalla receives funding to fight off pest animals and weeds

By Country News

Benalla is just one of the drought-hit communities that will receive government support in the battle to control pest animals and weeds.

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud announced 33 local government areas would share in $10 million under round two of the Communities Combating Pest and Weed Impacts During Drought Program.

Benalla will receive $141 000.

‘"We are delivering on another election commitment to help farmers and landholders manage pests and weeds at a time when they are least able to do so,” Mr Littleproud said.

“This program aims to reduce the detrimental economic, social and environmental effects associated with pest animals and weeds during drought.”

Victorian Senator Bridget McKenzie said managing pests and weeds was a significant cost for local farmers and even more of an impost for them in drought.

“Anything we can do now to help locals control scourges like deer and wild dogs, along with some of our most detrimental weeds such as African boxthorn and serrated tussock, is an investment in the future,” Senator McKenzie said.

“The capacity of our farmers to manage pests and weeds during drought is reduced because they are dealing with other challenges, such as feeding livestock and keeping their farm businesses running.

“Weeds compete with fodder and native plants.”

She said Benalla Rural City Council would work closely with the Gecko CLaN Landcare Network to undertake a range of projects to identify and eradicate weeds and pests.

Communities Combating Pest and Weed Impacts During Drought Program funding is used by local councils to support farmers and land managers reduce the impacts of pest animals and weeds on agriculture and the environment, and to stimulate local economies and employment.

Twenty-three projects will be funded under round two of the program.