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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NLC Caring for Country Unit Written Submissions Cane Toad Inquiry Report Volume 2 66 People in Ngukurr don't understand. They are not aware of how the cane toad got to Australia. They understand only to stay away and that it is impacting on life in Ngukurr. The young people don't care about the cane toads. They kill them. To them it's like a hobby. During rain time they wear shoes. Over the past 4 years Aboriginal people have frequently voiced their concerns over the effects of cane toads moving into or towards their lands. In 2001 the NLC ran a campaign to raise awareness of the cane toad issue and the importance of trying to reduce the chance of cane toads reaching and establishing themselves on NT islands. Keep Cane Toads off our Islands Sixty metal signs were made and distributed to community councils and resource centres on islands and the mainland along the Arnhem Land coast and down as far as Borroloola (see attached copy). Communities and ranger groups were asked to erect the signs at airstrips and barge landings. We also distributed paper signs for stores, schools and health clinics. Some months later follow-up phone calls were made to ensure signs had been erected. There may now be a need for new signs in some areas. Although no formal evaluation of this campaign has been conducted, from visiting many communities, there appears to be a good awareness of the negative environmental effects of cane toads and the importance of keeping them off islands. People feel frustrated that they cannot do anything to eradicate the cane toads and become quite depressed when told that it may be ten years or more before we may have a biological control to assist in eradicating this pest. If Aboriginal people could be involved in measures taken to reduce the cane toad's presence around living areas they would feel less disempowered. More information needed People are interested in learning more about possible ways of reducing cane toad populations. They also want to understand where they have come from and what is being done about them. A similar information campaign could also be established to educate people of the enormous damage caused to native wildlife from feral cats that have escaped from populated areas and now live off wildlife and also endanger many species. Community information, announcements and advertisements presented on Impaja Television and TEABBA radio would inform many people living in remote areas. IDENTIFYING WAYS TO MANAGE THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS Suggestions from the Ngukurr Women Rangers: In Ngukurr, people use too much water. Children play with the water. It lets the cane toads keep on breeding. Control water use (around living areas) Use pesticides on the lights or use different lights to keep the bugs away. (Hundreds of toads gather around lights at night to feed on insects attracted to the lights.) Kill them in the community.