Bridging Borders; A New Biosecurity Plan for the Region

In partnership with the North West Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils (NWQROC), Project Officer Robyn Young has been busy working on the development of a new concurrent joint Regional Biosecurity Plan. 

In early June, representatives of the Gulf Catchments Pest Taskforce assembled, in Cloncurry, to assist with the formulation of the plan. The day boasted attendance of not only Council representatives but also field experts from the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries as well as local Landcare groups.

Representatives of Mount Isa Landcare, Mark Van Ryt (Left) & Gary Baker (Right), 
Cloncurry Shire Council, Morris Thompson (Centre Left) and Southern Gulf NRM, Charles Curry (Centre Right).

Pest and weeds are a significant social, economic, and environmental burden for our region, negatively impacting our economy, environmental biodiversity, public health, and cultural values. 

Rubber Vine (Cryptostegia grandiflora) infestation of local flora in Cloncurry River.

Biosecurity planning is a vital resource in the management of pests and weeds and a regionally focused plan will improve coordination and collaboration, increase opportunities for strategic investment and target investment towards regionally agreed priorities, and increase regional capacity sharing.    

Previously, each council developed and implemented individual biosecurity plans, however, pests and weeds do not respect council borders, so the NWQROC decided to develop a concurrent single joint plan that could be adopted and implemented by all participating councils.  Southern Gulf NRM has been tasked with the development of the plan and has been meeting with councils and stakeholders to commence the consultation process.  Following initial engagement, a draft plan will be drafted, and used as a base document during extensive stakeholder consultation.  

The Biosecurity Plan will set out the strategic direction of all stakeholders in a cooperative and collaborative way so that all efforts are directed towards the same agreed priorities.  The plan will guide local government in the management of pests and weeds and how they will evaluate and review their progress.  

Article by Brodie Crouch- July 2021

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