Michael Daley and Labor have declared war on weeds and pests in NSW, with an additional $50 million in funding to help fight a devastating environmental and economic scourge that is ravaging vast areas of NSW.
Besides their environmental costs, studies have put the economic cost of pest and weeds at more than $1 billion each year.
NSW Labor Leader, Michael Daley, said Labor was backing farmers.
“Farmers have been at war with weeds and pests in NSW for generations. Labor stands ready to help farmers manage this threat to our environment and our economy.”
“By boosting expenditure on public land management agencies like National Parks, Crown Lands and Local Land Services, we are fixing the environment, boosting productivity, and creating jobs in the regions to wage war on weeds and pests.”
Labor also announced it would implement key recommendations of the Natural Resources Commission’s Weeds review by establishing:
- An independent NSW Weeds Committee and Chair which would report to Parliament on Government agencies efforts to tackle weeds; and
- A ‘permitted list approach’ to species management in NSW.
Despite weed and pest management being listed as key goal of the most recent NSW State Plan, the Berejiklian Liberal-National Government had failed to boost funding significantly across Government. Futhermore, funding to the National Parks weed and pest management service had not increased in the last eight years.
Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for the Environment, Penny Sharpe, said that regional communities were missing out and the environment suffering while billions were splurged on Sydney stadiums.
“We know the regions are struggling with tough drought conditions, but if we don’t act now to help industry get ahead of this threat, then weed infestation will become an even bigger problem when the drought finally breaks.”
Shadow Primary Industries Minister, Mick Veitch, said Labor had listened to a range of stakeholders and were ready to act if elected in March.
“We have heeded calls to action by groups like the NSW Farmers and the Invasive Species Council, who have called for greater action of weeds and pests.
“For the first time NSW will have a coordinated approach to weed and pest control. Labor’s approach will be a real game changer.”
“At this election rural and regional NSW will have a choice between a Labor Government that puts them first, and a Liberal-National team that’s not listening to regional communities and is only focused on building Sydney stadiums.”
This follows Labor’s commitment to double funding to $32.5 million for Landcare NSW to support land rehabilitation, address salinity and soil erosion, support weed control and improve the water quality of our creeks and rivers.