Page 1045 - Week 03 - Thursday, 3 April 2008

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occupancy applications, possibly because of the limited range of uses and the inability to agist more than one or two horses on the adjacent land due to carrying capacity.

Environment—wild dog control
(Question No 1933)

Mrs Dunne asked the Minister for the Environment, Water and Climate Change, upon notice, on 4 March 2008:

(1) How much (a) was spent in the financial years (i) 2001-02, (ii) 2002-03, (iii) 2003/04, (iv) 2004/05, (v) 2005/06 and (vi) 2006/07 and (b) is proposed to be spent in 2007-08 on the management, containment and eradication of wild dog populations in the ACT;

(2) What techniques are used to manage wild dog populations.

Mr Stanhope: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) The ACT Government spent in the order of $80,000 on management of wild dogs in 2001-02. The wild dog management budget has gradually increased since this time and will be about $105,000 for 2007-08. This sum covers:

• employment of a full-time Parks, Conservation and Lands vertebrate pest officer;

• vehicle lease;

• hire of an additional contract dog-trapper to cover annual leave and periods of high wild dog activity in the ACT;

• $5000 contribution to cooperative wild dog control by NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and Cooma Rural Lands Protection Board in areas of NSW adjacent to Namadgi National Park;

• purchase of traps and baits; and

• program administration.

(2) Management of wild dogs in the ACT has two principle objectives:

• to minimise production losses attributed to wild dog attack on sheep along the rural/park interface; and

• to maintain the important ecosystem function performed by wild dogs as the top order predator within Namadgi National Park.

This is achieved by focusing management of wild dogs in areas of the Park where dogs are most likely to impact on neighbouring stock. Wild dogs are not managed in core central areas of the Park unless an attack on stock can be traced to dogs coming from this area.

The ACT Government uses an integrated pest management approach to wild dog management within the dog control areas of the Park. This includes proactive and reactive trapping, regular ground baiting, opportunistic shooting, electric fencing and the trial of a new poison delivery device known as the M44 ejector. Wild dog management in southern Namadgi is coordinated with NSW land managers though cooperative wild dog programs for the Yaouk and Shannon’s Flat regions. ACT landholders are provided with free poison-meat baits when they participate in coordinated baiting of bushland areas on leased land to coincide with on-Park baiting.

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