August 30, 2013
Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson, has announced a major strategic review of weed management in NSW.
Ms Hodgkinson said she has asked Dr John Keniry AM, Commissioner for Natural Resources, to review current weed management, including existing regulation, governance and other intergovernmental agreements for biosecurity.
“The creation of Local Land Services (LLS) and the launch of the NSW Biosecurity Strategy provide an ideal opportunity to review weed management in NSW and how we can better support farmers and land managers to tackle problem weeds,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
“Weeds are a menace for rural NSW, robbing our farmers of some $1.2 billion in lost productivity each year.”
Ms Hodgkinson said the NSW Government has allocated $10.8 million to weed management for the 2013-14 financial year through the NSW Weeds Action Program and the Weed Innovation Management Fund.
“Weed management was a key issue raised at the community workshops conducted as part of the development of LLS,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
“I told farmers who attended these workshops that we were committed to having a closer look at weed management in NSW and that’s what this review aims to do.
“I recognise the significant resources and effort currently dedicated to weed management in NSW from a range of bodies; especially Local Government but also private landholders and NSW Government agencies.
“This review provides an excellent opportunity to ensure this effort is undertaken in a regionally co-ordinated and efficient manner. This means working across all tenures – public and private – and prioritising all our resources so that we reduce the productive losses as a result of weeds.”
Ms Hodgkinson said she has asked Dr Keniry to establish a steering committee – which will hold its first meeting this week – to ensure the terms of reference of the review are met and that stakeholder input is properly considered.
The steering committee will consist of Cr Reg Kidd, Chair of the Noxious Weeds Advisory Committee; Dr Bruce Christie, Executive Director Biosecurity NSW, Department of Primary Industries and Mr Bob Conroy from the Office of Environment and Heritage.
Landholders and other stakeholders will be invited to have their say as part of planned public consultation later in the year. Further information on the review, including the terms of reference, is available on the Natural Resources Commission website: www.nrc.nsw.gov.au.