Joint Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
Australian Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation
Senator Ian Macdonald
6 June 2005
Representatives of agriculture, conservation bodies, local and State government, landcare and the plant nursery industry have been brought together to advise the Australian Government how best to tackle Australia's multi-billion-dollar weed problem.
The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell and the Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation, Senator Ian Macdonald, today announced the membership of the National Weeds Advisory Group.
The group will advise the Ministers on the management and direction of the Government's new $40 million Defeating the Weed Menace Program, which aims to reduce the impact of weeds on the sustainability of Australia's productive capacity and natural ecosystems.
"Weeds are a significant cost to the economy and pose one of the greatest threats to Australia's unique plants and animals. Apart from their significant effects on our biodiversity, they cost Australian farmers about $4 billion a year in lost production and control," the Ministers said.
"The advisory group has the blend of expertise and experience needed to provide quality advice to guide the program and help prevent or control Australia's most threatening and invasive weeds."
The members are:
- John Cotter, Chair, is a cattle producer and businessman, operating a substantial operation in the South Burnett region of south east Queensland. Through his leadership and administrative roles in a numerous community organisations, Mr Cotter has in-depth administrative and financial management experience and brings extensive proven facilitation, communication and negotiation skills.
- Jan FitzGerald, who has expertise in sustainable agriculture, will represent the Natural Heritage Trust Ministerial Advisory Committee. She is a past president of Australian Women in Agriculture, and has been a board member of several industry groups. Ms FitzGerald was recently appointed to the advisory committee for Greening Australia, and is a member of Inglewood Landcare.
- Phillip Reader, who will represent the National Farmers' Federation, is a member of the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA) Board of Directors. Mr Reader is aware of the agricultural and biodiversity effects of invasive plant species through his role as Chair of TFGA Weeds Committee, and as a member of Tasmanian Weeds Management Committee. He runs a mixed cropping and livestock property in northern Tasmania.
- Dr Rachel McFadyen, is Chief Executive Officer of the Cooperative Research Centre for Australian Weeds Management. She is a past manager of the Queensland Government's Pest Management Research group, responsible for research into chemical and animal pest control. Dr McFadyen brings extensive experience in weed research, particularly the biological control of weeds.
- Andreas Glanznig, who will represent the World Wide Fund for Nature - Australia, has worked extensively on biodiversity issues, including invasive species. He has expertise in biodiversity policy, capacity building programs and communications. Mr Glanznig is the Oceania Regional Chair of the IUCN Commission on Education and Communication.
- Robert Gledhill, will represent the Australian Local Government Association. He has been Mayor of Boorowa since 1983. Mr Gledhill has served on the Shire's Executive, and brings extensive experience in local government. He is also Chair of the Lachlan Catchment Management Authority and was previously a member of the COAG Foot and Mouth Disease Task Force.
- Kim Keogh, brings significant experience in community leadership and in-depth knowledge of natural resource management issues facing the pastoral and agricultural industries in Western Australia. He was an elected representative of the Murchison Shire from 1976 to 2000, and is a former Managing Director of a 245,000 ha station in the Murchison region of Western Australia.
- Don Hayman, who will represent the Ministerial Council on Natural Resource Management, is Chair of the Australian Weeds Committee (AWC,) on which the Australian, State and Territory governments are represented. As a senior policy officer in the NSW Department of Primary Industries, Mr Hayman has been extensively involved in natural resource management issues. He is also the alternate NSWDPI member on the Natural Resource Policies and Programs Committee of the Standing Committee on Natural Resource Management.
- Ian Sauer, representing the Australian Landcare Council, has been involved in landcare and landcare issues for the past 15 years. He is Chair of the Tasmanian Farm BIS State Planning Group, the National Gorse Task Force and the Tamar Natural Resource Management Strategy. Mr Sauer manages the family sheep and cattle farm at Pipers Brook in northern Tasmania, with a particular focus on sustainable profitable agriculture. He is also a member of the Australian Agriculture and Food Policy Reference Group.
- Warwick Scherf, who will represent the peak industry body Nursery andGarden Industry Australia (NGIA), is closely involved in guiding development of the industry's national position, policies and plans in relation to environmental issues, including invasive species and sustainability. He has experience in a number of senior roles in the commercial sector, with more than 10 years general management experience.
Renae Stoikos (Senator Campbell's office) 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434
David Crisafulli (Senator Macdonald's office) 0400 144 483