consultation dates list

Biosecurity Group Opens Proposed Pest Rate Consultation in Mundijong

There was some great conversations between landowners and Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group (PHBG) at the first public consultation for the proposed declared pest rate.

 

Pest Rate Consultation events list

 

A few larger landholders were concerned that landholders would be charged at a proportion of the unimproved value of their land (i.e. ad valorem). They were relieved to find out the charge would be a flat rate, and it would be fixed (i.e. not vary according to property size).

 

 

The Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group believe in a community wide approach to pest management and believe that a small flat/fixed rate for properties one hectare and above is fair. Controlling declared pests sustains the economic, environmental and amenity values of an area, protecting the reasons landholders chose to live there in the first place.

 

Landholders were encouraging towards education and engagement of the community. Many landholders who are committed to controlling pest animals and plants find trouble arises through shared property boundaries with absentee landholders and new lifestyle block owners. Many times a positive heads up with some help to find resources and to know where to start is all that is needed. The PHBG is committed to providing resources, support, and educational events to help landholders in the region learn about effective control options that are available.

 

 

The Peel Harvey region is large and covers many different land uses. This means pest priorities can change across the landscape.  While someone in Harvey may be focused on cotton bush, a resident in Serpentine may be most concerned about foxes. As a community based group with committee members from each Local Government Area the PHBG understands the complexities of declared pest management across the region. The PHBG is happy to discuss with landowners how the proposed pest rate can benefit them, as well as their community.

 

While it may be frustrating to think of the proposed declared pest rate as another ‘tax’ a landholder has to pay, realistically there is no secured, ongoing funding for the control of established declared pests. The big positive is for every dollar that a landholder contributes, the State Government will match it. All funds will be used specifically in the Peel Harvey region on declared pests, according to an operational budget that is approved annually.

 

The Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group has more consultation events planned across the Peel Harvey region – you can look on the PHBG website or Facebook page for more information. Alternatively you can email questions to comms.phbg@gmail.com.

two rabbits by fence

Community and Biosecurity Group helps rabbit virus spread across the Peel Harvey

The Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group (PHBG) along with 17 enthusiastic and eager land managers across the Peel Harvey region released the calicivirus just before Christmas.

In an effort that resembled trying to get the whole family together on Christmas Day,  PHBG Officers coordinated the delivery of rabbit pellets that helped interested land managers setup a pre-feeding and monitoring program prior to the distribution of the inoculated pellets.

two rabbits by fence

The Christmas virus

On December the 22nd, the virus was mixed and then delivered to 17 different sites for distribution over the next 24 hours.

“It was an interesting time to be releasing a bio-control agent thats for sure” Teele Hooper-Worrell, the Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group’s Communication Officer says ” Some of the landowners were asking for dead rabbits as Christmas presents!  Many of the landowners involved with the release had already tried other control options without success.”

This release was the second of two coordinated by the PHBG in the Peel Harvey region in 2017.  The release of the RHDV1 K5 strain of the rabbit calicivirus is phase one of a 20 year rabbit biocontrol strategy.

The second release was planned in summer when common vectors, flies and mosquitos, are numerous and effective at spreading the virus. The Calicivirus can be spread up to 4km from an initial release site. If there are dead rabbits at a release site you can help to spread the virus yourself by moving the dead rabbit to a different active rabbit area. 

A biocontrol option is not the silver bullet and follow-up is necessary to maintain the control results over a longer period of time. Follow-up actions include fumigation and/or destruction of warrens, and follow up baiting. Studies have shown that these techniques not only remove rabbits entirely from an area but can also avoid re-population for up to 5 years.

 

Success

Release sites have already started to report dead rabbits from Cardup to Harvey.

Landowners are also actively sharing dead rabbits to enable the further spread of the virus – well, it is the season for giving

Fox pelts, echidnas and photoboards delight showgoers at biosecurity stall.

The Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group (PHBG) continued their annual traditional of hosting a stall at the 2017 Waroona Show.

Showcasing weed and pest management information, some fantastic props, registration forms for upcoming rabbit workshops, and photo boards the stall had a constant stream of visitors throughout the day.

By far the most popular activity at the stall was the WANTED Feral Animal photoboards. Kids just couldn’t go past the opportunity to pose as a wanted animal with character names such as Charlie ‘the chicken snatcher’ Canid and Ruby ‘the ankle twister’ Rabbit. Children, as well as some young at heart adults, posed with the photo boards whilst family members took pictures and were encouraged to share the pictures far and wide on social media.

 

Kids pose with feral animal photoboards

 

The photoboards while being fun are also informative and include information on the negative affects of the pests in the shape of ‘crimes’ and subsequent control options available to landowners.  They also help to share how community members can report sightings of pests using the MyPestGuide reporting system via an app or online form.

Another popular part of the stall was the stuffed native animals- Carnaby Black Cockatoo, Echidna and Quoll.  Many children had never seen these animals close up and were able to touch and feel the animals. There was also a fox pelt for people to touch and feel which generated a lot of interest. These resources were great conversation starters around what landowners had seen on their property or in local reserves.

 

Stuffed Echidna and Quoll with fox pelt at the PHBG Biosecurity stall.

 

The rabbit photoboard was one of the most popular for kids and rabbits were a hot topic from community members as well.  The stall was also an opportunity for landowners to sign up for the upcoming Rabbit Control Workshop . This workshop will coincide with the next release of the RHDV1 K5 or calicivirus.

PHBG officers are accredited to mix and disperse the virus and are seeking expressions of interest for landowners that would like to be involved in the November release. Signing up as a rabbit hotspot will involve monitoring before and after at the release site.

If you would like to register your interest email comms.phbg@gmail.com

Community members can also help by reporting rabbit, or other pests, via the MyPestGuide reporting system via an app or online form.

My Pest Guide logo

Pig trapping workshop

Have you seen signs of feral pigs on your property? Have you seen disturbance and thought it was pigs but weren’t sure? Do you want to learn the most effective trapping techniques for feral pigs? Then come along to the Pest Fest with two feral pig trapping workshop to choose from and many more activities on show.

A family of feral pigs

 

Feral pigs are a serious environmental and agricultural pest across Australia. They are found in all states and territories, particularly around wetlands and river systems.

They prey on native animals and plants, dig up large expanses of soil and vegetation in search of food and foul fresh water. Feral pigs will eat many things including small mammals, birds, reptiles, frogs, crayfish, eggs, earthworms and other invertebrates, and all parts of plants including the fruit, seeds, roots, tubers, bulbs and foliage.

Feral pigs can host animal diseases that can be transmitted to other species. In dirt on their feet and fur, they can also spread plant pathogens such as Phytophthora cinnamomi, which causes plant dieback. Feral pigs move around to new sites with food and water, and can breed rapidly to recover from control programs or droughts, and the impacts of feral pigs are intensified when their populations are large.

 

A feral pig walking through undergrowth

 

 

 

 

Attendees at the workshop will learn all aspects of pig trapping from experienced officers including:
-Practical knowledge of the effective and ethical management of feral pigs.
-Impact of pigs on the agriculture and natural environments.
-Learn how to trap,1080 baiting options,
-Recognise pig activity through scats and rutting.
-Impacts of pigs as vectors of disease and pathogens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Workshop Details:

Times -12.00pm and 1.00pm 

Venue-Waroona Landcare Centre

Registrations essential, email comms.phbg@gmail.com

 

The MedFly

Fruit fly trap workshop

Join one of the Fruit Fly workshops at the September 10th Pest Fest and learn how to make Fruit Fly traps with household items.

Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata) is a serious horticultural pest in Western Australia. It attacks a range of cultivated fruits and some fruiting vegetables. Medfly, as it is commonly known, has been recorded to infest more than 200 hosts worldwide. The first sign of damage is often larvae-infested or ‘stung’ fruit. Stinging is caused by the female laying eggs into unripened or ripe fruit.

The MedFly

Lure and kill devices work in a similar way to baits, exploiting the need for female Medflies to obtain dietary protein for egg production. Traps are hung on trees and the protein in the trap attracts male and female flies. Depending on the design, the flies drown or obtain a lethal dose of insecticide.

Some nurseries sell a lure and kill device which consists of a plastic container containing a liquid that is attractive to Medflies. The flies enter through small holes in the lid, and eventually drown in the liquid. Freshly-killed flies float on the surface.

You can also make your own traps out of empty soft drink or water bottles, or 2 litre milk or juice cartons. Remove the label first as it may deter flies or attract young children. Drill, punch or burn at least four holes on opposite sides of the bottle, near the ‘shoulders’. The size of the holes should be 6-8mm. The trap can be hung from its neck by wire or string to a branch. Fill one-third of the trap with your recipe.

The Department of Agriculture and Food, WA will run 3 Fruit Fly Trap workshops at the upcoming Pest Fest on September 10th

Attendees will be shown how to create a trap with recycled household plastic containers and teach recipes for the lure within.
Times are – 12:00, 12:30 and 1:00pm.
Start collecting your plastic containers to make your traps!

Pictures of fruit fly traps using recycled household plastic containers

 

 

People can bring:

· Milk bottles

· Drinks plastic bottles

· Water bottles (600ml, 1L or 2L)

· Peanut butter containers

· Coat hanger

· Honey bottles (large)

· Any container with a wide opening and yellow-orange lids.

· Yellow electrical tape

· Yellow contact sheet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Workshop Details:

Times- 12:00, 12:30 and 1:00pm.

Venue- Warmsley Pavilion, Waroona Show Grounds

Need more info?

Email comms.phbg@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cant make the event click here for some fruit fly lure recipes.

Farm Biosecurity plan workshop

The Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) program is the Australian livestock industry’s on-farm assurance program covering food safety, animal welfare and biosecurity. It provides evidence of livestock history and on-farm practices when transferring livestock through the value chain.

 

A picture of cows in a pasture

From 1 October 2017, biosecurity will be included in the LPA program. Every LPA-accredited producer must ensure biosecurity requirements are fulfilled both on farm and during the transport of livestock between properties and feedlots, including to slaughter and live export.

Biosecurity relates to preventive measures designed to reduce the risk of transmission of infectious diseases, invasive pests or weeds.

Good biosecurity practices prevent the spread of infectious disease and invasive pests or weeds between farms as well as protecting Australia from diseases and weeds that occur overseas. Biosecurity procedures address the containment of disease outbreaks when they occur.

 

From October 1st 2017 producers will be required to develop a Farm Biosecurity Plan.

At the upcoming Pest Fest held by the Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group there will be a Farm Biosecurity Planning Workshop to help producers plan for the new changes to the LPA.

To understand your on-farm requirements, and to hear about the roll out of electronic National Vendor Declarations (eNVD), please register for a one hour workshop that will be held at 10am, at the Senior Citizens Hall in Waroona, located on Millar Street near the South West Highway.

 

Promotion flyer for the Pest Fest Event

 

 

 

Workshop Details:

Time- 10am Venue- Waroona Senior Citizens Centre Registrations essential

Email comms.phbg@gmail.com

 

A picture of a branch affected by the disease myrtle rust

Whats the Fuss About Myrtle Rust?

The latest plant biosecurity news is summarised in the Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre’s (PBCRC)  The Leaflet. The latest edition was packed full of information on the disease called myrtle rust (Puccinia psidii). Read on to find out what really is the fuss behind myrtle rust.

A picture of a branch affected by the disease myrtle rust

Suspect myrtle rust symptoms should be reported to the Pest and Disease Information Service (Emergency Plant Pest Hotline) on 1800 084 881 or email info@agric.wa.gov.au.

The Australian Myrtaceae family of plants, including eucalypts, tea tree and paperbark, and associated plant industries are under threat from a devastating disease called myrtle rust (Puccinia psidii). Myrtle rust was introduced in 2010 and was detected for the first time in Australia on the central coast of New South Wales. With the wind-borne nature of the disease and the abundance of suitable plant hosts in the Australian environment, the disease spread rapidly and is now considered established and widespread along the entire east coast of Australia. The disease is very effective at spreading  making it a threat to the health of Western Australian native species.

What is Myrtle rust?

Dr Geoff Pegg from the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries is the PBCRC myrtle rust expert,  in the following video he provides some interesting insights into this devastating disease and the research that is building knowledge to help affected industries.

Myrtle rust threatens Australian Industry-

The latest edition of The Leaflet outlined three main industries effected by Myrtle rust.

  1. The $800 million production nursery industry is an important part of the Australian economy and is vital for supporting a range of other industries such as fruit and vegetables. Myrtle rust has already damaged the nursery and garden industry significantly, with immediate restrictions on interstate trade following detection and the removal of popular commercial varieties of plants that are highly susceptible to the disease. Some states still maintain trade restrictions from areas where the disease is present.
  2. The forest industry contributes over $20 billion of economic turnover each year and employs over 70,000 people (ABARES, 2014). While initially considered a significant risk to the forestry industry, impacts to date have fortunately been minimal with reports of the disease restricted to minor damage in young eucalypt plantations in New South Wales (Carnegie, 2015) and Queensland (Pegg, unpublished).
  3. The developing lemon myrtle (Backhousia citriodora) industry has been one of the hardest hit by the disease. Lemon myrtle leaves contain oil with the highest citral content of any known plant in the world – citral is the lemony aroma compound used for its citrus effect. The leaves are dried and milled for use in teas or as a spice and steam distillation is used to extract the essential oil from the leaf material, which can then be used as food flavouring, in aromatherapy products, cosmetics and toiletries. In 2012, production of lemon myrtle was estimated to be between 575 and 1,100 tonnes of leaf and 3 to 8 tonnes of oil, with a farm gate value of between $7 and $23 million.

Overview of the lemon myrtle industry

Lemon myrtle leaves contain the highest amount of citral, more than 90 per cent, of any plant in the world- it has been described as ‘lemonier than lemon’!

The leaves are dried and milled for use in teas or as a spice. Steam distillation is used to extract the essential oil from the leaf material which can then be used as food flavouring, in aromatherapy products, cosmetics and toiletries.

In 2012, production of lemon myrtle was estimated to be between 575 and 1,100 tonnes of leaf, and three to eight tonnes of oil, with a farm gate value of between $7 and $23 million.

So how do we manage it?

The Australian lemon myrtle industry have been loosing out since the introduction of the disease in 2010. The Plant Biosecurity CRC are conducting research to help develop management strategies to reduce production losses from affected plants. Myrtle rust leads to to branch defoliation, dieback and stunted growth – yield losses can be to be up to 70 per cent. Production losses can be severe if the disease is left untreated.

Through a PBCRC research project with the NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) and Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QDAF), scientists are investigating how to manage the impact of myrtle rust – a disease that has the potential to cause widespread change in native plant species and impacts on the ecological communities they support. This research is being led by Dr Suzy Perry and Dr Geoff Pegg from QDAF, with significant support from Dr Angus Carnegie (NSW DPI). The research project Managing myrtle rust and its impact in Australia is investigating myrtle rust management options for industry and the impact on native ecosystems. This research hopes to finalise a nationally standardised myrtle rust rating system for a range of myrtaceous species growing under different environmental conditions which will enable affected stakeholders to better manage myrtle rust and its consequences in Australia.

For further information on the project take a look at – Managing myrtle rust and its impact in Australia, Further information: Dr Geoff Pegg, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Participants: NSW Department of Primary Industries, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

A poster warning New Zealand residents to keep a look out for myrtle rust

Even New Zealand residents are asked to keep a look out for the disease.

Keeping myrtle rust out of Western Australia-

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) gives these tips for managing the biosecurity risk of myrtle rust-

Bush walkers and home gardeners are likely to be the first people to find myrtle rust if it enters WA. Naturalists are invaluable as “eyes on the ground” but are also those most likely to inadvertently bring this disease into WA.

Wind disperses myrtle rust spores but wind alone is unlikely to carry them across the desert which separates WA from the eastern states. However, the tiny spores are highly transportable and can stick to clothing, hats, footwear, vehicles and equipment. Consequently anyone who visits NSW, Victoria or Queensland and then returns to WA should take the following precautions:

  • If travelling by road, shake out floor mats, wash down tyres and check that the vehicle, caravan, trailer and any gardening equipment contain no plant material. Do this before leaving NSW, Victoria or Queensland and do it again before crossing the border back into Western Australia. The reason for performing the first clean-up is that if any spores are accidentally transported even a short distance into other states they could allow myrtle rust to become established further westward and, consequently, begin the spread of the disease towards WA.
  • If possible, change into fresh clothing and footwear before re-entering WA and pack away the attire that was worn in NSW and Queensland. Once home, wash everything that was used on the trip.
  • Rail and domestic airline passengers are reminded that any plant material or items contaminated by soil are prohibited entry into WA. If friends or relatives from eastern Australia are planning to visit WA please pass on this advice.

More information on the DPIRD website about myrtle rust can be found here.

Anyone who finds what they suspect is myrtle rust should ring the Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS) on Freecall: 1800 084 881 to report the location. If possible take a photograph and email it to info@agric.wa.gov.au.

Symptoms can also be reported through the MyPestGuide reporter app or by making an online report.

Do not take a sample to post to the Pest and Disease Information Service, because snipping off a piece of diseased plant could dislodge the spores and accelerate the local spread of myrtle rust.

MEDIA RELEASE- Fox control workshop in Harvey

MEDIA RELEASE

Fox control workshop in Harvey

Members of the public wanting to know more about the latest approaches to controlling foxes on their property are encouraged to attend a free event at the Harvey RSL Hall on July 13, at 2 pm.

The Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group is putting on a workshop which promises information on new technologies and hands-on demonstrations.

The control of foxes comes at a critical time for two main reasons.

First, the calicivirus has knocked down rabbit numbers, and foxes will seek alternative food sources which may include poultry, young lambs, as well as native wildlife.

Second, the most effective fox control is achieved during late winter and spring: at this time foxes are less mobile as they are rearing young and food demands are high.

Participants are asked to register for the event so that organisers can accommodate all participants in the hands-on demonstrations.

Demonstrations will include the operation of the candid pest ejector, which is a new way of deploying 1080 to foxes.

There will also be information on permit requirements for 1080.

Vaughn Byrd, chairperson of the Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group, is keen for local landholders to attend. “The Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group is committed to bringing the latest information on best-practice pest control to the local community,” he said.

“We have taken the opportunity to host a number of experts who are travelling through the South West in the hope that the community comes together to learn new skills and think about ways of taking a regional approach to fox management,” he said.

Please email your RSVP to info@peelharveybiosecurity.info

A light afternoon tea will be provided so please indicate whether you have specific dietary requirements.

Children can attend the event with an enclosed outdoor play area available to keep them amused.

ENDS….

Media Contact-

Jonelle Cleland

Executive Officer

Email: exec.officer.phbg@gmail.com

MEDIA RELEASE- Look twice for cotton bush signs

MEDIA RELEASE

Look twice for cotton bush signs

 Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group hopes their thought provoking signs placed in cottonbush infested areas will raise awareness about the weed and promote its control.

Cotton bush competes with pasture and native bushland, is toxic to humans and livestock and is spread easily on the wind.

If cotton bush is harvested along with hay it can potentially poison any livestock that consume it.

Fire affected areas are also vulnerable to weeds through large cleared areas and no competition from other vegetation.

Young seedlings can be controlled manually by pulling them up or by chemical control.

It is important to remove the weed before it has time to grow seed pods and release new seeds into the soil.

New signs reminding people to control their cotton bush will be placed in different areas in the Peel-Harvey region to remind community members that pest control has to be a group effort.

All property owners are responsible for controlling declared pests on their land.

 Executive Office Jonelle Cleland says  “Contact the Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group for information on how you can control cotton bush on your property, or go online at peelharveybiosecurity.info for information.” 

Peel Harvey Cotton Bush Sign put on the side of the Highway in Harvey

The Peel Harvey Cotton Bush Groups banner in Harvey.

 

ENDS….

Media Contact-

Teele Hooper-Worrell

Communications Officer

Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group

comms.phbg@gmail.com