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Hawker calls for more action on pest animals.

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Federal Member for Wannon

Hamilton Office 190 Gray St, HAMILTON VIC 3300 Warrnambool Office 73 Kepler St WARRNAMBOOL VIC 3280 Freecall 1300 131 692 E W

Federal Member for Wannon

20 August 2009


Federal Member for Wannon David Hawker is calling for more Government funding to tackle the growing problem of pest animals after the release of a report that shows the cost to Australian agriculture of rabbits alone is $206 million annually.

“It’s clear this Government needs to take more action to address the growing problem of pest animals,” Mr Hawker said today.

“This report, released by the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), found that six pest species - rabbits, wild dogs, mice, foxes, feral pigs and pest birds - cost agriculture more than $620 million in losses per year.”

Mr Hawker said the Rudd Government had taken the axe to many valuable land management programs and agricultural research and development organisations over the past two years, reducing the ability of local farmers to tackle the pest problem.

“The Rudd Government needs to put more funding into research and development, as well as on-the-ground projects, to give something back to agricultural producers, who did much to help Australia through the recent economic turmoil,” he said.

Mr Hawker warned that if the Government does not step up action to tackle the issue of pest animals Western Victoria could once again see rabbits reach plague proportions as witnessed in the past.

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Media contact: Jane Templeton (02) 6277 4118