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Howard Government surrenders in war on weeds.



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Gavan O'Connor MP MEMBER FOR CORIO SHADOW MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND FISHERIES

13 November 2006

HOWARD GOVERNMENT SURRENDERS IN WAR ON WEEDS

Australia cannot afford to cut back on research aimed at controlling and combating the weed menace, yet this is just what the Howard Government did this week when it refused to continue funding the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Australian Weed Management.

Weeds cost Australian farmers over $1.5 billion every year and, up until now, the CRC has had bipartisan support as the lead agency in the development of effective policies and mechanisms to control weeds.

This CRC was at the centre of the “weeds” policy the Howard Government took to the last election.

“The National Weeds Strategy has supported applied research into weeds through the Cooperative Research Centre for Weeds Management…” (Howard Government Election 2004 Policy - Sustaining our Farm Lands)

Another election policy trashed by the Howard Government.

The CRC for Australian Weeds Management has the support of several State Governments as well as important industry bodies such as the Grains Research and Development Corporation, Meat and Livestock Australia and Australian Wool Innovation.

This issue ought to be above politics.

The Howard Government has now taken a significant step backwards in the fight against the weeds that threaten our farm lands and the livelihoods of our farm families.

The short sighted decision to cut off funds to the CRC for Australian Weed Management ought to be reviewed immediately.

Contact Gavan O’Connor on 0418 518 528 Bernie Eades on 0419 664 016