What is DPIRD’s role?
A RBG can be formed through consultation with DPIRD, or independent of DPIRD if no public funding is required. However, if any group seeks recognition from the Minister, the department’s advice will be essential.
DPIRD will be involved if there is a DPR determined in the RBG’s area. The department must approve the pest plan and budget. Also, DPIRD manages the DPA through which groups can access rate and matched funds. RBGs need to report to the department on performance and expenditure of public funds.
Besides the departments statutory role (i.e. in administration and accounting for public funding expenditure), include assisting a RBG to become established and recognised. After a RBG is established, the partnership arrangements between the RBG and DPIRD should be agreed to under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
It is anticipated that RBGs may establish similar partnership arrangements with other organisations.
The department will undertake roles within partnership arrangements that are appropriate to a government agency. DPIRD's roles will not replace the responsibilities of landholders to control declared pests on their land, but instead will add to their capacity to do so through RBGs.
Priorities for the department are in preventing new incursions of priority pest animals and weeds and in ensuring eradication where new incursions do occur. This is the most significant role for government and is the most cost-effective use of public resources.
The non-statutory roles that DPIRD can contribute to RBGs through partnership arrangements include:
- providing initial information about declared pests (occurrence, distribution, impacts, ecology etc.)
- advice on administration, coordination and good governance
- assistance with strategic and operational planning, and with budgeting
- advice on ‘best practice’ control, including updates of new information
- advice on statutory obligations of RBGs, including compliance with animal welfare, occupational health and safety or other associated standards
- training to build community or industry capacity to control declared pests
- assistance to address gaps in current knowledge about control of declared pests, and
- assessment of impacts and of the return to investment in control of declared pests.
The department may also perform compliance services under the BAM Act within its resources. For established declared pests, regulation is considered a ‘last-resort’ and would only be applied when landholders fail to control declared pests at a level that meets community expectations and where DPIRD considers it to be feasible and a reasonable action to take.
Regulation and compliance enforcement alone are not effective control mechanisms for wide-spread and established pests unless undertaken with a range of other management mechanisms delivered through a community coordinated approach.