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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Parks & Wildlife Commission NT Written Submissions Cane Toad Inquiry Report Volume 2 10 because theyve already got animals that we can reuse I suppose. And I suppose the question I was going to ask was, it would have been easier to just let, work on maintaining the quolls on Melville and Bathurst Island than putting them on one of the smaller islands off the Arnhem Land. Dr WOINARSKI: Yeah, I mean prevention of toads getting to anywhere obviously is going to be the best solution if its possible. Quolls actually arent on Bathurst or Melville, they like rocks and theres not enough rocks there. Theyre on Groote Mr WOOD: Used to eat my chooks! I know they like to eat chooks. Dr WOINARSKI: Yeah, they certainly do. But yeah, theyre on Groote at the moment and weve got to quarantine Groote from toads but I think thats going to be impossible you know, its something which it would be great to happen but given the amount of barge traffic and boats and fishermen and yachties and stuff moving around, I just dont think thats got much security, much certainty about it. But yeah obviously the islands in this case are the most valuable conservation refuges almost that weve got and of course most of the islands in the NT are Aboriginal owned so its very much a matter of working with the Aboriginal land owners to ensure that they appreciate those values and that the risk of toads moving to those islands is minimised. Mr WOOD: I think the local government associations working with you about putting the signs up on the islands or I think Dave Norton from Jabiru Council raised that a couple of years ago and I think thats where the signage started anyway and you believe that needs more emphasis. Madam CHAIR: Yeah, I was going to ask that question when you mentioned there needs to be a bolstering of the effort in terms of the existing islands, quarantining them to an extent. Do you have any suggestions along those lines that we could consider? Dr LAWSON: Well we have already been just yesterday or the day before yesterday, I was informed that my new initiative project was approved so we do have some money now to engage shall we say more directly next year, in other words John and I dont have to rob other projects to get you know, to do this island work anymore, which is a bit of a relief. Certainly prior to that is to bolster this effort and well be working a lot closer, were working closer with the NLC on that because there are certain needs for instance: we need, the signage was all in English. I think we need to put signage in language as well, we need to have a much more preemptive approach to community schools I think because some of the best people you can get to spot things out in the bush in remote areas are Aboriginal kids. So if we can get at the kids we might have a sort of mini police force there.