An environmental disaster is how State Leader and Member for Traeger, Robbie Katter describes Queensland’s weed crisis and he’s calling on the Federal and State Governments to act.
Mr Katter says while attention and funds are being thrown at Great Barrier Reef protection, little is being done to work with farmers who now face a $4 billion annual bill as the weed crisis worsens.
Mr Katter says the Turnbull Government’s allocation of half a billion dollars to the Great Barrier Reef in the 2018 Budget was a slap in the face to those on the ground impacted by the nation’s weeds crisis.
He says one of the hardest hit areas was the Mitchell Grass Downs region.
“The Mitchell Grass Downs are a hugely valuable natural asset for Queensland and they are being overrun with prickly acacia. Every year graziers are spending millions of dollars managing encroachment of prickly acacia with little assistance from the Government”
Mr Katter said the weed had spread in two decades in the region from 6.6 million hectares to 22 million hectares.
“It’s anticipated that 95 per cent of the Mitchell Grass Downs will be impacted by 2030.”
Mr Katter compares the $900 million spend by federal and state government on the health of the Great Barrier Reef in the past 12 months to the less than $10 million for the management of prickly acacia.
“If governments invest in better management of prickly acacia, it will pay dividends through a more productive cattle industry as well as opportunities in advance biofuels. The government must look beyond the Reef and help western Queensland.”