Have your say on biosecurity

GLADSTONE Regional Council will engage with the community regarding a new biosecurity plan which is scheduled to take effect in 2021.

Council’s current biosecurity plan expires at the end of 2020 and residents and landowners are encouraged to contribute to the new plan from September 9 to 26.

Community engagement will be conducted through various means including online and hard copy surveys, and in-person community information sessions at various locations.

Councillor and Capricorn Pest Management Group committee member Chris Cameron said the Biosecurity Plan’s purpose was to strengthen and protect the region’s environment and ecosystems from biosecurity risks.

“The plan sets out key objectives and priority actions that are unique to our region,” Cr Cameron said.

“Key issues include giant rats tail grass, parthenium, feral Leucaena, absentee landholders and pest animals including wild dogs, feral pigs, rabbits, foxes and Indian myna birds.”

Cr Cameron said biosecurity was an issue that impacted the entire region, not just residents living in agricultural areas.

“The benefits of biosecurity control can range from protecting our native flora and fauna to the quality of our waterways including the Southern Great Barrier Reef,” he said.

“Failing to protect these natural assets can have a flow-on effect that can potentially affect tourism and business.

“The new biosecurity plan currently being drafted has been informed by a significant amount of research, alignment with the Biosecurity Act 2014, consideration of emerging priorities and customer service requests and feedback.

“It also forms the foundation of council actions which includes control of land, community education and awareness, and compliance and enforcement of the act within the region.”

GET INVOLVED:

Council will host five community information sessions regarding the draft biosecurity plan:

– Sunday, September 13 8am-midday at Discovery Coast Markets, Agnes Water

– Wednesday, September 16 10am-midday at Ubobo General Store

– Wednesday, September 16 2.15pm-4.15pm at Mount Larcom post office

– Saturday, September 19 8am-midday at Miriam Vale Lions Markets

– Sunday, September 20 8am-midday at Calliope Historical Village Markets.

Cr Cameron said access to online and hard copy surveys, and the ability to RSVP to one of the community information sessions, would be made available via council’s conversations platform.

“Residents can also RSVP by phoning council’s community engagement centre on 4976 6300 and pick up a hard copy of the survey at council offices and at selected shops, produce and general stores,” he said.

“Prizes will also be on offer for survey participants with one of five native plants provided by Tondoon Botanic Gardens available to win.”

Once the final draft is complete, the Biosecurity Plan 2021-2025 will be adopted at a general meeting of council later this year.

Visit https://conversations.gladstone.qld.gov.au to have your say.



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