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 for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT
Tabled by Delia Lawrie
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Written Submissions Dr Freeland Volume 2 Cane Toad Inquiry Report 149 continue to use signage and other means to limit the probability of cane toads being moved to islands; continue with and be more publicly accountable for the translocation of Quolls to islands; continue to examine the practicality of establishing a cane toad proof fence across the neck of the Cobourg Peninsula; and continue to support the Parks Australia and Territory park monitoring programs. These recommendations are not new, having been around for some considerable time. They are however a balanced assessment of the cane toad's impacts relative to the other nature conservation issues facing the Territory. These issues include the following: 1. The camel population in Central Australia is growing rapidly and is uncontrolled and causing damage that may never be rectified e.g. quondongs. 2. The donkey population in the VRD in being put under control, but feral populations in the Gulf Country continue to grow unchecked. 3. The post-BTEC remnants of the water buffalo population are growing and expanding rapidly. 4. Fire across much of the Territory continues to manage us rather than us manage it, even though advances have been achieved. 5. Gamba grass continues to spread through the Top End, and not withstanding the excellent effort of Rangers in Litchfield and other National Parks, constitutes a far greater threat to the Territory's flora and fauna than does the cane toad. 6. Buffel grass continues to spread across the semi-arid lands at a great loss to conservation. 7. We continue to maintain massive infestations of Mimosa. 8. The recent DIPE annual report notes that there are 201 Territory species that are probably threatened with extinction, yet there are only three management programs to deal with the problem (there was a recent release of two more for public comment) and recovery management is conducted of no more than a handful of species. 9. The recent DIPE annual report failed to provide the people of the Territory with any clear understanding of the outcomes of fire, weed and feral animals throughout the park system, a notable decline in accountability and transparency. 10. The Territory's system of parks and reserve rates poorly in terms of nationally agreed criteria of comprehensiveness, adequacy and representativeness when compared to other States and Territories. 11. The recent increase in turnover of Rangers within the Commission is undermining the experience and knowledge base (particularly T2 and T3 levels) of future operations. This, plus an apparent drop in attractiveness to outside applicants, appears caused by low wages relative to other jurisdictions, poor remote area support (they were excluded from the new budget's improvements for teachers, nurses etc), poor remote communications and a significant decline in moral.
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