Wednesday, 28 June 2023
NORTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has called on the State Government to urgently act to curb the out-of-control feral pig population, which is wreaking havoc across rural and regional NSW, calling for more resources to address the influx.
Mr Marshall put down a question on State Parliament’s notice paper yesterday, asking the Minister for Agriculture to take immediate action to ensure farmers and landholders were well prepared to deal with the influx of the pests.
“There has been an explosion of pigs in recent months with numbers rising exponentially, partly due to years of high rainfall and optimal breeding conditions,” Mr Marshall said.
“The current statewide feral pig eradication program funding is set to expire at the end of this week, with nothing announced by the Minister to indicate this will continue, let alone be increased from next month.
“I have asked the Minister to extend the current funding, and increase the resources provided to Local Lands Services to help take control of the situation and bolster the feral pig eradication program.”
Mr Marshall said feral pigs were highly destructive as they attack native animals and livestock, cause damage to crops and fences, carry diseases and are a threat to people’s safety.
“Local Land Services are doing the best job they can controlling numbers through aerial shooting, baiting and trapping programs, but that work is now under threat without an immediate injection of additional funding by the Minister,” he said.
“In the Northern Tablelands alone, LLS aerial shooting programs eliminate thousands of feral pigs each year, yet farmers are still reporting growing numbers of incursions and damage from these pests.
“We can’t afford for farmers to lose more crops or infrastructure by allowing these pests to build up their numbers in State Forests, National Parks and taking control of farmers’ land and property.”
The Minister has 35 calendar days to answer Mr Marshall’s question, although he hopes action will be taken sooner.
Mr Marshall’s question, placed on the Notice Paper:
My question is to the Minister for Agriculture:
In relation to feral pig numbers:
1. What is the estimated size of the feral pig population in New South Wales, as at the date of this question?
2. By how much has this grown over the last two years?
3. Will current funding levels for control and eradication programs be maintained beyond 30 June 2023?
a. If not, why not?
4. Will additional funding and staff be provided to assist landholders deal with feral pigs?
a. If not, why not?
b. If so, what are the details?
5. What measures are being put in place to ensure public land managers comply with their obligations under the Biosecurity Act 2015 and how is this being enforced?
Asked on 27 June 2023. Answer due on 1 August 2023.