Letter to Minister O'Connor about the future of the National Wilding Conifer Control Programme
Jon Sullivan, Flickr
The Commissioner wrote to the Minister for Biosecurity, Hon Damien O'Connor, to express his concern about the future of the National Wilding Conifer Control Programme.
The programme’s annual budget will fall from $25 million this year (2022/23) to just $10 million from July onwards. This will place at risk the gains that have been made in newly controlled areas and end any hopes of achieving containment or elimination at the scale envisaged back in 2020.
The programme requires at least $25 million per annum simply to maintain the gains made so far.
The control of invasive species cannot be an on-again, off-again affair. The reason we face a problem on this scale is a direct result of decades of neglect by successive governments. Reining in the investment after it has barely been ramped up risks losing any gains that may have been made.