The State Government has now provided $12million for the fight against cane toads since 2004, with a further $169,225 today going to the Kimberley Toad Busters for much-needed equipment.
Environment Minister David Templeman said the Lotterywest grant would provide for four small field vehicles and a tray-back vehicle.
“These vehicles will significantly boost the toad-busting ability of these tireless volunteers,” Mr Templeman said.
“While it seems the only sure fire way to stop the march of cane toads is a biological weapon, the State Government and these dedicated volunteers are doing their very best to hold back the tide.
“While the advice from the experts is that we must steel ourselves for cane toads to enter Western Australia some time soon, these passionate toad-busters are not lying down and we are proud to be able to support them.”
The grant comes just four months after the State Government announced a further $1million for the fight against cane toads, including funding for community groups like the Kimberley Toad Busters and $500,000 to help develop an all important biological weapon to kill toads.
The $1million will also go towards the recruitment of a cane toad co-ordinator to be based in Kununurra.
“The State Government has been forced to tackle this issue on its own, due to the failure of the previous federal Government to acknowledge or show any leadership on this across-border emergency,” the Minister said.
“But I now look forward to working with Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett to come up with a co-operative approach to this critical issue.”
The Rudd Government announced a $2million cane toad innovation fund for new management and eradication solutions.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Environment Minister Sally Talbot today joined Sandy Boulter and Lee Scott-Virtue from the Toad Busters for a ceremonial key hand-over.
“The vehicles purchased with this funding will assist the Toad Busters in their tough job and help ensure their safety in rough and challenging terrain,” Dr Talbot said.
Kimberley MLA Carol Martin said the funding was extremely well-deserved.
“These people have volunteered their time and worked hard sacrificing their weekends, personal holidays and many other times doing all they can to stop the cane toad from entering the State.”
Mr Templeman said the Government was acting now for the future to protect WA’s unique biodiversity.
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