Acting PM announces $6.2m weed project in Gladstone
A $6.2m grant to the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation was announced in Gladstone today by acting Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce.
The funding will help research new ways of stamping out ten species of weeds that hurt agricultural profitability.
"RIRDC will lead the weeds biocontrol project ... to develop new solutions to manage the impact of pest weeds on agricultural profitability across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia," Minister Joyce said.
"The project aims to develop new biocontrol solutions for a number of weed species and reduce control costs for farmers and landholders."
Targeted weed species are Giant Rat's Tail grass, Prickly Acacia, Mother-of-millions, Fleabane, Sowthistle, Silverleaf Nightshade, African Boxthorn, Ox-eye Daisy, Cabomba, and Sagittaria.
Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd said the funding was great news for local farmers, graziers and landholders.
"By targeting these pest weeds, we are helping farmers, graziers and the wider community by improving agricultural output and productivity," Mr O'Dowd said.
"Weeds like giant Rat's Tail Grass and Prickly Acacia wreak havoc across the region every year, costing landholders millions in lost productivity and extermination costs. Getting rid of them can be very labour intensive and a slow, expensive process. This new research funding will help our landholders get ahead in the battle against weeds.
"Gladstone Regional Council's contribution of $10,000 towards the project to specifically target control measures for giant rats tail is appreciated, and an indicator of the importance of the project."
Minister Joyce said the government had delivered $52 million for R&D grants in round two projects.