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Pest management initiative receives top QLD Award

Team inspecting pest hotspot data

2 June, 2021

Western Downs Regional Council’s innovative program to combat pest species has received state-wide recognition after winning one of the top gongs as part of this year’s Local Government Managers Australia Queensland Awards for Excellence

Council’s ‘Shaping Stronger, More Resilient and Productive Communities’ project took out the Community Shaping category at the state awards held last week (27 May, 2021).  

Council’s Spokesperson for Planning, Environment and Agribusiness Councillor Andrew Smith said the Award demonstrated Council’s agile and responsive commitment to pest management.  

The Western Downs is home to a diverse agricultural sector and beautiful natural landscapes so it’s important Council works to ensure pest species are controlled as effectively as possible,” Cr Smith said.  

“Over the past few years, Council has been continuing to improve its pest management systems and has even introduced the use of artificial intelligence to help track pest animals and use the data to target pest activity. 

“This increase in knowledge has made Council’s pest management processes more effective and has empowered landholders to better-manage pests on their properties which ultimately supports the environment and the economy.  

Since 2014, Council has delivered $1.5 million of coordinated pest management activity across 2 million hectares, collaborating with 1,500 landholders, industry, and government bodies.  

“This effort has included the erection of 130 kilometres of exclusion fencing and the removal of over 30,000 feral pigs, 10,000 wild dogs, and 1,500 hectares of priority weeds.  

“This huge commitment has made a lasting impact and its recognition is a huge accomplishment for Council and the Western Downs. 

The Community Shaping Award recognises a project or initiative that has educated and informed community opinion leading to sustainable, positive changes in the community. 

WDRC was also named a finalist for its Groovin‘ in the Garden initiative under the Community Shaping category, and for its COVID-19 Recovery Package under the Sustainability category. 

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