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Immediate fox action needed from the Tasmanian Government.

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Immediate fox action needed from the Tasmanian Government

DAFF06/088A 2 August 2006

The Federal Conservation Minister, Senator Eric Abetz, today called on the Tasmanian Government to increase its funding for the fox-free task force in light of the latest fox find.

Minister Abetz again expressed disappointment, after his media release of 28 June, that the State Government had halved the amount of funding dedicated to fox eradication in Tasmania in this year’s State Budget.

“Given yesterday’s fox find there is unequivocal evidence that foxes are now in Tasmania. It is most disappointing that the Tasmanian Government has slashed its spending on this issue while the Federal Government remained committed, contributing approximately $400,000 to the fight in Tasmania each year,” Minister Abetz said.

“This means the Federal Government now contributes nearly 40% in the fight to eradicate foxes in Tasmania,”

“If foxes become established in Tasmania as they are on mainland Australia, it is estimated the damage to our natural ecosystems and to our agricultural production would be in excess of $100 million.

“I have in the past commended the Tasmanian Government for setting up the fox-free task force; it now needs to follow through with the support that is needed to deal with the fox menace”.

Minister Abetz said he had had an urgent discussion with the Minister for Environment, Senator Ian Campbell, who agreed that further funds would be considered if the State Government agreed to make fox eradication a priority.

“A stronger and clearer commitment to the issue from the Tasmanian Government would be required before any more funds are made available by the Australian Government,” Minister Abetz said.

Further inquiries:

Senator Abetz’s office: Brad Stansfield 0419 884 666