Future directions for 2014/15
In partnership with DAFWA, the Grains, Seeds and Hay IMC will continue to manage and monitor the programs it has in place for the control of skeleton weed and the eradication of three-horned bedstraw.
The 2014/15 year will see an additional two compliance officers employed through the Skeleton Weed Program. These positions will largely undertake property audits to ensure that landholders meet their obligations with regard to managing skeleton weed. In addition, a collaborative research project with UWA will be conducted. The research will focus on modelling the distribution of skeleton weed to help the program better predict where the weed will spread. It is expected that this research will improve efficiencies by helping target surveillance activities.
In terms of three-horned bedstraw, the Grains, Seeds and Hay IFS will be partnering with CBH to deliver critical bedstraw surveillance activities during 2014/15. The work will involve the screening of 5000 grain samples across 16 priority sites. The screening will make use of innovative image analysis technology (EyeFoss) for the early detection of significant weeds.
In early 2015, the IMC will be required to review the current programs in order to provide advice to the Minister on the 2015/16 IFS contribution rate and area of operation. The future of the Skeleton Weed Program will be of particular interest, as the structure of the program is heavily dependent on the level of IFS contributions. The IMC will continue to ensure that the programs are developed and delivered in-line with the expectations of the WA grain, seed and hay industries.
The Committee will continue to keep informed on the State Bedstraw Eradication Plan to ensure it complements the bedstraw program being funded by the IFS on behalf of the WA grains, seeds and hay industries.
As per the IFS regulations, the Minister will be undertaking a review of the Grains, Seeds and Hay Industry Funding Scheme during 2014/15 to determine whether the Scheme should continue beyond 30 June 2015. The Minister will be consulting the industry to identify whether the continuation of the Scheme is likely to be of benefit to the WA grains, seeds and hay industries, and this should form the basis for a decision.
The Grains, Seeds and Hay Industry Funding Scheme is an industry-controlled scheme. As such, the IMC always welcomes industry feedback on the Scheme, its programs and grain/seed/hay issues in general. Industry can contact the IMC at any time through the Executive Officer. The IMC is keen to hear the industry’s views on the risks and opportunities within the biosecurity arena, and members are available to participate in industry forums, meetings and field days to discuss the Scheme and answer any questions from industry.