Many introduced and native animals, turned pests, have established large populations across Australia. Pest animals are normally controlled because they impact on agriculture and the environment. Often the extent of feral populations means that eradication is not feasible.
Pest management is primarily the responsibility of the states and territories but the Australian Government plays a role in coordinating strategic pest animal management, including through membership of the Vertebrate Pest Committee, and funding to the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre and the Australian Pest Animal Management Research Program.
Vertebrate Pests Committee
The Vertebrate Pests Committee is an Australian sectoral committee that provides coordinated policy and planning solutions for pest animal issues. Membership includes representatives from the Australian Governments and all Australian state and territory governments. New Zealand and other agencies such as the CSIRO, Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre and Bureau of Rural Science provide Observers to the Committee; other experts may also be accorded Observer status.
The Vertebrate Pest Committee is primarily responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Australian Pest Animal Strategy. This Strategy provides a framework for all governments to work together to address the management of established pest animal species and prevent the introduction and spread of new pest animals into Australia. A national coordinator has been engaged to assist in the implementation of the Australian Pest Animal Strategy and attends Vertebrate Pest Committee meetings in an ex officio capacity.
Under current national biosecurity policy and institutional arrangements, the Vertebrate Pests Committee reports to the National Biosecurity Committee which reports to both the Natural Resource Management and the Primary Industries Standing Committees. The Vertebrate Pests Committee convenes a number of Working Groups to advise on technical matters. It maintains links with other national sectoral committees such as the Animal Health Committee, Animal Welfare Committee and Australian Weeds Committee to address areas of overlap and common interest.
Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre
The Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre aims to counteract the impact of invasive animals through the new technologies and through cooperation across agencies and jurisdictions. The centre is a partnership between industry, environmental, commercial and government agencies.
Australian Pest Animal Research Program
The Australian Pest Animal Research Program is funded by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry and is managed by the Bureau of Rural Sciences. This program has been established to fund research that will improve approaches to the management of agricultural pest animals.
A free website the Pest Portal provides information on current and past research to help in making management decisions.
National Coordinator for the Australian Pest Animal Strategy
Dr David Dall
LPO Box 5055
University of Canberra
Bruce ACT 2617
Secretariat for the Vertebrate Pests Committee
Invasive Species Contact
GPO Box 858
Canberra ACT 2601
12 Jul 2011