Funding innovation to tackle pest animals and weeds

More than $2.34 million has been granted for research and development projects that accelerate the development of new and improved tools and technologies for controlling established pest animal and weeds. The funding has been made available through the new Established Pest Animals and Weeds Measure.

This funding is supporting the accelerated development of chemical, biological or physical control tools for different pest animals and weeds, including:

  • fireweed
  • prickly acacia
  • feral pigs
  • aquatic weeds
  • wild dogs
  • foxes.

Work to make an antidote for PAPP (para-aminopropiophenone) for domestic and working dogs more readily available is also receiving a funding boost.

Farmers spend millions of dollars every year trying to control and manage pest animals and weeds, which reduce agricultural productivity and cause damage to the environment and natural resources.

The Australian Government knows how important it is for farmers to be ahead of the game, which is why we are funding these projects for new and improved tools and technologies.

Research projects

Biological control of fireweed (Senecio madagascariensis) Phase 2

Delivered by: CSIRO
Funding: $299 767

Continues research into biological control options for fireweed in South Africa, including host specificity testing. This testing is needed to confirm the potential host range and possible effects on other species before any potential biological control agent is imported into Australia for future research and potential release. This project will contribute to developing an effective management tool for fireweed. Benefits include increased pasture productivity through reduced weed density and reduced poisoning and improved health of livestock.

Cost effective weed management using targeted sheep grazing technology

Delivered by: CSIRO
Funding: $299 314

Supports research into the use of virtual fencing technology for targeted sheep grazing of weed-infested areas. Grazing management is an effective method of weed control that works by damaging plants and targeting species to prevent seed set. This project could significantly increase the potential area of Australia that benefits from the virtual fence technology, leveraging the 40 million hectares of Australia’s mixed farming zones.

War on northern invasive weeds (prickly acacia)

Delivered by:Queensland Government
Funding: $306 550

Finalises development, field testing and best practice adoption by farmers of three new control technologies. Prickly acacia is one of northern Australia’s worst weeds. Use of new tools will help reduce farm labour and address the economic impact of prickly acacia, which at high densities can exceed $100 000 per year per property.

Aquatic weed control tools for maintaining water flow in irrigation channels

Delivered by: Victorian Government
Funding: $676 000

Aims to develop an aquatic weed control tool for maintaining water flow in irrigation channels. This would provide for longer lasting and safer control of submersed aquatic weeds, offering a more efficient delivery option to the 38 per cent of Australian farms that use irrigation channels.

HOGGONE Australia—next generation feral pig bait

Delivered by: Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre
Funding: $200 000

Aims to help address the national issue of feral pigs through the development of a new bait, Hoggone. Hoggone uses a common meat preservative (sodium nitrite) as the active constituent and is specially formulated to mask its taste and enhance lethality to feral pigs. Feral pigs affect all states and territories and are estimated to cost Australian agricultural production and the environment $100 million annually.

Carbon monoxide rabbit warren fumigator

Delivered by: Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre
Funding: $161 000

Aims to deliver a safer and more humane method for rabbit warren fumigation using carbon monoxide. Wild rabbits are Australia’s number one pest and cause over $200 million in lost agricultural production annually. This project aims to develop a complementary rabbit management tool that can be used in conjunction with other management methods, including biological control programmes and warren destruction.

PAPP based lethal trap device (wild dogs and foxes)

Delivered by:Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre
Funding: $158 000

Aims to improve the use of lethal trap devices by completing field trials using the new poison, PAPP. The development of a lethal trap device containing PAPP toxin would result in a safer and more humane control tool for the management of pest animals like wild dogs and foxes and an alternative to the current use of strychnine.

Blue Healer—glovebox antidote

Delivered by: Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre
Funding: $247 000

Aims to develop a tool that farmers could use to administer an antidote to PAPP for accidentally poisoned working dogs or pet dogs. The antidote is currently only available for registered vets to use. Easier access and availability of the antidote could assist in greater participation in baiting programs for pest animal species.