Indigenous rangers to help combat wild dogs in WA

Media Release

FN025/2017

04 March 2017

Joint release with:

Barnaby Joyce

Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources

Nigel Scullion

Minister for Indigenous Affairs

  • $600,000 over two years to trial Indigenous Rangers managing wild dogs and other pest animals in Western Australia
  • Activities align with the National Wild Dog Action Plan and complement the WA government and individual landholder responsibilities for wild dog management, such as baiting and trapping

Indigenous ranger groups will be trained to help manage wild dogs and other pest animals in Western Australia through a $600,000 investment by the Federal Coalition Government.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said the two–year pilot, to be funded under the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper and the Indigenous Advancement Strategy, would utilise the skills of Indigenous ranger groups to undertake wild dog control.

“The Coalition Government is funding this trial, drawing on the expertise of Indigenous ranger groups, many which already deliver feral animal control, on top of resource management activities including weed control, biodiversity protection and fire management,” Minister Joyce said.

“Under the pilot, Indigenous rangers will receive specific training to undertake the wild dog control activities on the ground, in ways that utilise their traditional knowledge and land management skills.

“The activities will align with the National Wild Dog Action Plan, WA Wild Dog Action Plan and complement the WA government and individual landholder responsibilities for wild dog management, such as baiting and trapping.”

The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, said there was significant potential for ranger groups to undertake wild dog control.

“Across the country, many Indigenous rangers currently survey, monitor and control feral animals using technology such as handheld GPS computers, camera traps and sand-plot monitoring techniques,” Minister Scullion said.

“The trial will begin in the Goldfields region, to complement the $660,000 the Coalition invested in this region to establish a new Indigenous ranger group, to help protect Western Australian farmers from the impact of wild dogs.

Minister for Regional Development, Fiona Nash, said the Coalition was serious about stopping wild dogs.

“As a farmer myself, I know first-hand how devastating the impact of feral animals can be on livestock or how pest weed invasions can drastically cut a crop's yield.

“This Coalition Government has shown an unprecedented commitment to helping limit the harmful impacts of pest animals such as wild dogs, which cost our agriculture sector up to $89 million each year through livestock losses, control measures and disease transmission,” Minister Nash said.

“Wild dogs can cause terrible distress for farmers and landholders, reducing farm profits and causing emotional anguish and the more we can do to combat this pest animal the better.”

Fast facts

  • The Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper has invested:
    • $50 million over four years to tackle established pest animals and weeds
    • A further $25.8 million specifically for pest animals and weeds in areas still feeling the on-going impacts of drought—the Australian Government has already rolled out $19 million worth of projects under this drought-specific funding.
  • Through the White Paper funding, the Australian Government is today announcing a further $2.5 million for wild dog management activities in Western Australia over two years from 2017–18 to 2018–19.
  • The WA Government is receiving $2.43 million under the Managing Established Pest Animals and Weeds initiative for 2015–16 and 2016–17, allocated across six projects.
  • This is on top of $500,000 already provided to Western Australia under the White Paper in 2015–16 for pest animal and weed management in drought-affected areas, and $500,000 committed in 2016–17 to undertake wild dog, cacti and feral pig control in the Mid West region.
  • The Western Australian Government has committed up to $20 million to implement the actions in Western Australia's Wild Dog Action Plan.
  • For more information visit http://www.agriculture.gov.au/pests-diseases-weeds/pest-animals-and-weeds
  • The Australian Government has committed $352 million for Indigenous rangers from 2013 to 2018. Funding for Indigenous rangers has been extended through to June 2020.
  • This Australian Government commitment funds about 783 full time equivalent ranger positions across 110 ranger teams nationally.
  • Currently over 2,000 Indigenous people are employed in full-time, part-time and casual ranger jobs, supported by funding from the Government's Indigenous Advancement Strategy