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Standing Committee leaps on cane toad spread

Standing Committee leaps on cane toad spread

A new parliamentary inquiry will examine the effectiveness of measures to limit the spread of the habitat-destroying cane toad that is rapidly advancing through the north-west of the Durack electorate.

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on the Environment and Energy is keen to understand how well current control measures are working in the fight against the spread of the destructive pests, and whether there are other measures that should be added to the toolkit.

Federal Member for Durack and Minister for the Environment Melissa Price welcomes the inquiry and said the government wants to ensure it is doing all it can to limit the impacts and minimise the threat from this rapidly-spreading pest that is now prevalent in northern Australia.

“Their spread has been difficult to arrest,” she said, “cane toads have no known predators in Australia and they are toxic at all points in their life cycle.

“They are an increasing threat to the environment, destroying native species and biodiversity.

“The committee is calling for submissions to the inquiry and I strongly encourage Durack residents to make a submission,” said Minister Price.

The committee is chaired by the Hon Andrew Gee MP and submissions are open until Thursday, 31 January 2019. Public hearings are expected to be held in Canberra in mid-February.

Submissions must address the inquiry’s terms of reference:

  • The effectiveness of control measures to limit the spread of cane toads in Australia
  • Additional support for cane toad population control measures

Details on how to make a submission can be found on the parliamentary website: https://www.aph.gov.au/canetoad

Cane toads were introduced to Queensland from Hawaii in 1935 to potentially eradicate beetles that were destroying the sugar cane crops. They are prolific breeders that breed all year round and have spread across northern Australia with a serious impact on ecosystems.

You can find out how to correctly identify a cane toad by going to: https://www.dpaw.wa.gov.au/images/documents/plants-animals/animals/canetoads/20120459A_Kimberley_Is_it_a_cane_toad_v11.pdf

Pic caption: Fast mover: A cane toad in its natural habitat. The species is moving rapidly across the north-west of the Durack electorate. Pic - courtesy Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.

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