11 November 2010
Joint media release
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig
Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Dr Mike Kelly
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, and Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Dr Mike Kelly, have approved the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation’s five year plan for the National Weeds and Productivity Research Program.
The program will play a critical role in minimising the impact of invasive weeds.
“The Gillard Labor Government recognises the major social, environmental and economic impact of weeds on farming, forestry and the natural environment,” Minister Ludwig said.
“Weeds are one of the most significant land degradation challenges facing rural Australia, with the cost to the economy estimated at about $4 billion a year”.
The plan outlines RIRDC’s long term research and development priorities and details how it will work with industry to reduce the impact of weeds on farming, forestry and biodiversity.
It was developed after consultation with research organisations, farmers, government agencies, and resource managers, who worked together to identify weed R&D objectives.
Dr Kelly said the next step in the fight against invasive weeds is a call for suitable weed research projects to attract grant funding.
RIRDC will receive up to $12.405 million (inclusive of GST) to establish the National Weeds and Productivity Research Program and will commission a number of research projects and make an open call for research proposals.
This funding is in addition to $3.6 million the government has already invested in 39 research projects across the country.
“The Government is committed to researching long term solutions to the problem of invasive weeds, and approval of the National Weeds and Productivity Program five year plan is an important step toward fulfilling this key election commitment,” Dr Kelly said.
More information on the National Weeds and Productivity Research Program, including the Open-call Grant Guidelines, is available on the RIRDC website www.rirdc.gov.au.