Pest insect destruction fund
The pest insect destruction fund (PIDF) has been in place since 1934. It is used to fund the control of outbreaks of Australian Plague Locusts, Migratory Locusts and Spur Throated Locusts. Rural landholders contribute to thefund by a pest insect special purpose rate which is collected by Local Land Services at the direction of the Minister for Primary Industries.
Why am I charged a Pest Insect Special Purpose Rate?
There have been two major locust outbreaks since 2004 that have necessitated the State Government advancing the PIDF an interest-free loan. This loan must be repaid and ongoing annual costs must be met.
The contribution was deferred for 2007 and 2008 due to drought and reintroduced in 2009 following locust control activity in 2008 and 2009.
How is the Pest Insect Special Purpose Rate calculated?
The contribution is a flat rate contribution of $16 per rate notice, plus 3.67 cents per dry sheep equivalent for non-coastal areas and 1.8 cents per dry sheep equivalent for ratepayers in coastal and some adjoining tablelands districts.
The benefits of the campaign to control plague locust outbreaks flow on to all rural landholders. Effectively combating plague locusts in hot spots not only minimises damage in those areas but also reduces the risk of migration of adult locusts into other areas, including coastal areas, where they can cause further damage.
Who is involved in locust campaigns?
Locust control campaigns are a cooperative effort involving landholders, Local Land Services, NSW Department of Primary Industries, NSW Farmers' and the Australian Plague Locust Commission.
Since 2004 a total of over 1.4 million hectares have been treated across NSW. Support from landholders has been crucial to the success of these campaigns, with farmers treating more than half of this area.
Where is the money from the Pest Insect Destruction Fund spent?
The Pest Insect Destruction Fund is partly used to finance the NSW operations of the Australian Plague Locust Commission and the remainder pays for control campaigns coordinated by NSW Department of Primary Industries and Local Land Services. The costs associated with the control campaign include insecticide for locust control, aircraft for locust surveillance and treatment and other operational expenses (e.g. accommodation for staff, overtime and vehicle operating costs).
Why is money spent on controlling declared pest insects such as the Australian Plague Locust?
The Australian Plague Locust can cause massive destruction in short amounts of time if left unchecked. Adult locusts have the ability to move long distances in very short timeframes, hundreds of kilometres overnight, impacting on vast areas of eastern Australia. A cost benefit analysis revealed that for every $1 spent on controlling locusts $20 in production is saved.
Why aren't Wingless Grasshoppers included?
Wingless Grasshoppers are not a declared pest under the Local Land Services Act 2013. This means that the Pest Insect Destruction Fund can not be used for control of these pests. Unlike the locust species that are declared, Wingless Grasshoppers are not gregarious (they do not generally congregate into bands or swarms), generally cause localised damage and do not migrate long distances to impact other regions.
Where can I read more about the current plague locust situation?
For information on the current locust situation visit the NSW Department of Primary Industries web site at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au.