Kim Chance

Kim Chance

Minister for Agriculture and Food; Forestry; the Mid West and Wheatbelt; Great Southern

    Minister addresses international conference on weed management

    17/09/2007 1:00 PM
     
    17/9/07

    Agriculture and Food Minister Kim Chance today addressed the ninth annual international conference on the ecology and management of alien plant invasions. This is the first time the biannual conference has been held in the southern hemisphere.

    Mr Chance said the conference, organised by the Weeds Society of WA (Inc.), showcased the latest research on invasive plants and their impact on biodiversity.

    It also provided information on the range of tools that could be used to manage invasive plants.

    “Invasive plants or weeds are a massive problem throughout Australia, having major economic, social and environmental impacts,” he said.

    “They cause immense damage to natural landscapes, agricultural lands, waterways and coastal areas.”

    The Minister said the cost of weeds to agricultural industries alone in Australia was around $4billion per annum, which was also the estimated cost to the natural environment.

    Mr Chance said today’s conference addressed issues such as the prevention of new incursions, the management of existing infestations and appropriate legislation, public education and information.

    “Each State, including Western Australia, has a weeds strategy aimed at identifying weed management priorities,” he said

    “WA’s State weed plan recommends measures that can provide a more integrated and co-ordinated approach to issues involving weeds.

    “In conjunction with the plan, the State Government is currently progressing a new piece of legislation, the Biosecurity and Agricultural Management Bill, which will provide the regulatory framework for the management of invasive pests and diseases, including weeds.

    “The Bill will replace a number of statutes relating to biosecurity management and also establish the mechanism for both the community and government to work together to protect this State from invasive pests such as weeds.”

    About 250 delegates are expected at the conference from the UK, USA, South Africa, New Zealand, India, Kenya, Uganda, Pakistan, Canada, Nepal, France, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ghana, French Polynesia, Nigeria, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Syria, Japan, Swaziland, China and all States and Territories of Australia.

    More information on the conference is available from http://www.congresswest.com.au/emapi9/

    Minister's office - 9213 6700