The Invasive Species Council, BirdLife Australia and the Nature Conservation Council of NSW appreciate the important role played by the Natural Resources Commission in developing solutions to the difficult issue of pest animal management and appreciate the opportunity to make a submission to its Pest Animal Management Review Draft Report.
Our organisations are committed to the conservation of NSW’s diverse biota, and to the protection and restoration of its natural habitats.
In general we are supportive of the draft report, in particular the sound recommendations towards an overall improvement in pest animal management in NSW.
The consideration the commission has given to pest management science, relevant stakeholder views and to the many challenges in pest animal management is reflected in the good insights in the draft report. We particularly note and affirm the report’s statements that:
‘…the risks from future incursions and diseases remain extreme. As the problem of pest animals is a shared one, the solutions demand shared responsibility’, and that ‘Government must also address new and emerging pest risks, place a stronger focus on highrisk pathways and ensure administrators can rapidly access funds to enable future rapid response’.
We also note the emphasis on strengthening governance arrangements, including through guidance ‘by expert committees, which include community and industry representation’ – we urge that ‘environmental representation’ be added to this sentence on page one.
We endorse the importance of strong governance. One necessary way of strengthening the governance of pest animal management is to ensure that environmental and community expertise is specifically included throughout national, state and local governance institutions. Industry and economic interests have historically played a central role in invasive species policy, leading to biosecurity decision-making residing within agricultural departments.
Governance arrangements in NSW can be enriched with greater environmental and community expertise, enabling them to more successfully avert and address the impacts of pest animals on the natural environment as well as on the agricultural sector.