- Thursday 24 February 2011
Sunshine Coast Council today endorsed four Pest Survey Programs to control declared pests within the boundaries of the Sunshine Coast region, scheduled to provide seamless delivery from 12 March 2011 to 15 March 2012.
The programs will involve council investigating declared pest plants on private property in accordance with the Land Protection (Pest and Stock Route Management) Act 2002 and the objectives of the former councils’ Pest Management Plans.
Service Delivery Portfolio Councillor Paul Tatton said the pest programs were important to control the hundreds of varieties of declared pest plants and animals throughout the region.
"The Pest Survey Programs allow council officers to enter private property to facilitate the control of declared pests and monitor compliance under the Act," he said.
"Failure to deliver the nominated pest survey programs will put at risk the control of declared pest plants and animals throughout the region, causing environmental damage, loss of biodiversity, threat to stock and domestic animals, loss of agricultural productivity and loss of community amenity.
"With increasing numbers of residents moving to our hinterland who may have limited understanding of rural lifestyles, declared pests can present a problem on large and small acreage as well as urban fringe areas."
Council will seek voluntary compliance and collaborate with landholders wherever possible to facilitate the control of declared pests.
Where pests are located on a property and a pest control notice is served, information will be provided to the owner outlining the requirements of the legislation and advising of the option to develop a pest management plan for the property.
Cr Tatton said council had been undertaking approved pest survey programs for a number of years under the Act and expected the ongoing wet conditions this year would see a particular disruption to the habitats of pest animals and plants.
"The wet weather has had an impact on pest plants and animals, with changed water courses moving plant seeds off-track and disturbances to the natural environment causing pest animals to look for food sources in new areas," he said.
"Now is a good time for all residents to have a look around their own properties for signs of pest plant and animal activity and have a chat to their neighbours about coordinating their actions.
"We also encourage residents in the hinterland communities to consider being a part of the baiting or trapping programs to protect against wild dogs and foxes."
A copy of the Pest Survey Program will be available at council’s Customer Service Centres and each program will be advertised in the Sunshine Coast Daily prior to its implementation.
A number of resources including booklets, fact sheets and public notices will be provided to rural and peri-urban landholders via mail outs, public notices and surveys. Information is also available online at council’s website.
The first Pest Survey Program will run from 16 March to 11 June 2011 concentrating on the areas of Maleny, Witta, Meridan Plains, Yandina, Yandina Creek, Ninderry, Pacific Paradise, Coolum, Mt Coolum, Valdora, Maroochy River, Twin Waters, Mudjimba and Marcoola.