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What the Papers Say

Cash splash falls short: toad buster

The Liberal Government's pledge to commit up to $200,000 to help protect WA's north from the spread of cane toads if re-elected is nowhere near enough, said the region's leading toad buster.

Member for Durack and Minister for the Environment Melissa Price said the Coalition's investment would support indigenous rangers and other non-government organisations to stop the flow of cane toads in the Kimberley.

"The invasion of cane toads through the Kimberley is killing thousands of apex predators," she said.

"This investment will allow landholders and indigenous groups across the Kimberley to identify areas of highest biodiversity ahead of the invasion.

"This will support the creation pockets of surviving predator populations, including the northern quolls, plain death adders and yellow-spotted goannas."

Many islands in Queensland and the Northern Territory have already been invaded by cane toads, and while more than 2500 islands off the Kimberley coast are thought to be cane toad free, research from the Threatened Species Recovery Hub in Queensland discovered the pests are known to have colonised at least one island.

Kimberley Toadbusters president Lee Scott Virtue said the commitment was a step in the right direction, but the amount was nowhere near enough to get the resources necessary to fight the toad migration out to the affected remote areas.

"It's more complex because the rangers have burnt those islands, and do they intend to go on burning them or are they going to pull back on their burning program and work more on the cane toad issue? I don't think they can do both," she said.

"It's nowhere near what you'd need for the really isolated area. It's very difficult to get into along those coastal zones and I think (the Liberal party) would almost certainly have to get other people, like Kimberley Toadbusters, in there to help them work out a strategy. They couldn't just take on toad busting (themselves), I don't think.

Source - Pilbara News & Kimberley Echo

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