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    Wimmera CMA chief executive Dave Brennan.

CMA agriculture pest team expands

Agricultural and environmental pests across the Wimmera are in the crosshairs of a project team that has expanded as part of a State Government Agricultural Workforce Plan.

A Wimmera Catchment Management Authority team will grow from 20 to 40 under the plan, designed to support farming communities and to keep Victorians working.

Wimmera CMA chief executive David Brennan said a larger team would open the door for a comprehensive effort to combat invasive and costly pest weeds and animals.

“It means we can tackle pressing issues with a lot more resources and achieve better outcomes than previously,” he said.

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“The team will be working right across the catchment on a range of different projects – on roadsides and riparian areas for example and other key environment targets with a primary objective to improve agriculture outcomes.

“Rabbits and foxes will be especially targeted and this represents a great opportunity for greater work with landholders and Landcare groups. 

“Throwing a heap of additional resources at this has the potential to set up good environmental and agricultural outcomes for years in advance.”

The State Government announced the creation of an extra almost 60 full-time jobs during the next six months as part of the plan.

Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes said the scheme involved a further investment of more than $3-million towards new jobs with CMAs as well as the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

Team members will be involved in work that includes revegetation and fencing of important environmental areas such as waterways, weed control, soil sampling and water-quality monitoring on private and adjacent public land. 

“Job creation right across the state is crucial to keeping the Victorian economy moving right now, and agriculture is strongly placed to drive that,” Ms Symes said.

“These new positions will support our vital agricultural sector through improving land health and pest control, and helping farmers to continue to deliver food to Victorians’ tables.”

The entire August 5, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!