Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall, centre, cutting the ribbon to officially open the new $684,000 Northern Tablelands Local Lands Services Bait Shed today, alongside Senior Biosecurity Officer Elli Keyte, Northern Tablelands Local Lands Services Chairman Grahame Marriott, Senior Biosecurity Officer Dan McCudden, Biosecurity Officer Karen Heap and General Manager Paul Hutchings.
Wednesday, 15 September 2021
THE latest tool in the Northern Tablelands Local Land Services’ (LLS) arsenal against feral pigs, wild dogs, foxes and rabbits has officially opened at Inverell, with Northern Tablelands MP and Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall today doing the honours, cutting the ribbon on the $684,000 new baiting shed.
Mr Marshall said the state-of-the-art facility at the Inverell Research Station included a bait preparation area, cool room, veterinary lab, Travelling Stock Reserve chemical storage and workshop, and storage for pest control resources.
“With a larger facility, greater capacity and better efficiency, the Northern Tablelands Local Land Services (LLS) team will be well equipped to help farmers and other customers combat pest animals in the Inverell area,” Mr Marshall said.
“Research suggests we need to control 70 per cent of the wild dog and fox populations, 80 per cent of the feral pig population and 90 per cent of the rabbit population, annually to prevent an explosion in numbers. This new bait shed will play a key role in that.
“We need to maintain our grip on these pest animal populations to minimise their burden on livestock production and the environment.
“In this state-of-the-art facility, there is also a designated bait collection point for easy access for customers. They will be able to continue to arrange bait collection through their Biosecurity Officers as they have done in the past.
“This makes it even easier for landholders to get involved in collective control programs. By coordinating baiting and trapping efforts, everyone stands to benefit in ways that would otherwise not be possible when working individually.”
The new facility will also have the capacity for the Northern Tablelands LLS team to respond quickly to emerging threats, such as locusts.
“With bumper crops on the horizon for much of the state, I urge landholders to be on the lookout for locust activity this spring and report any sightings immediately,” he said.
“Locust outbreaks can potentially affect very large areas of crops and pasture, and if not controlled, can cause significant economic loss to farmers.
“Centrally located in the heart of the Northern Tablelands LLS footprint, this shed will allow trained biosecurity staff to mobilise quickly in the event locusts are identified, allowing them to initiate control options and tackle the pest before it gets airborne.”