Sessional Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development Written Submissions Received Volume 2 Issues associated with the progressive entry into the Northern Territory of Cane Toads October 2003
Tabled Paper 1123
Tabled Papers for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT
Tabled by Delia Lawrie
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Written Submissions Parks & Wildlife Commission NT Volume 2 Cane Toad Inquiry Report 3 closely aligned with my first answer, theyll have some effect, I dont think we can actually predict reliably how much of an effect they will have on the biota of the Northern Territory. As I said, we will expect certain species to be affected more than others, certainly the Northern Quoll we thought about. Also getting some quite disturbing but anecdotal information about things like the large certain snake species, and even things like frilled lizards from the Katherine area. But to give you a definitive answer, I couldnt do that. With cultural, socio-economic and other factors associated encroachment of cane toads in the Northern Territory, well Aboriginal people around Borroloola have learned to live with cane toads but that, I think is a glib answer and shouldnt be confused with the fact that they like that situation, they dont. I think there are gonna be some fall out in terms of bush foods for Aboriginal remote communities. Again weve got anecdotal evidence that some of the larger varanids when they disappear are very quickly noticed by Aboriginal communities and we might expect, although we dont know that that might lead to some socio-economic effects with greater dependency on store bought foods and the possible health effects that that might endanger in some of our more remote communities. The current level of understanding concerning cane toads is, I think, sometimes far off the mark. I think some of the public believe that cane toads are an absolute disaster and that we should be spending an awful lot of money just trying to stop them moving. I think theres a lack of understanding of how insidious this movement is and I think theres a lack of understanding of actually what we can physically do about it. There is a need for greater public education, but I also know that there are certain things, if youve got web access there is certain information on the web which is very up to date, very relevant and in pretty plain language but I think we can do better. How to manage the environmental impact of cane toads in the Northern Territory: I think a combination of better public education, but also I would like to see more co-ordination amongst researchers and people like ourselves in a more strategic approach to the cane toad problem and by that I dont mean necessarily looking for a magical cure, although that is very important but simply in terms of managing the situation that is inevitably going to happen, probably within the next one or two years in Darwin. I think there are ways we could more productively harness our energies to make sure the appropriate talent is used in the right way and I think theres also a need to reassure the public that the resources that we are expending, were doing it in a strategic way to get the best bang for our buck. We are already moving down that line, I mean it was very interesting, we had Peter in here before we came in, I think