Projects worth $30 million expected to wipe out animal pests and offer weed control

Nineteen projects will be funded following a competitive grant process to research and advance breakthrough solutions to control of some of Australia’s worst established pest animals and weeds, including fall armyworm and prickly acacia.

The high calibre and diversity of projects coming from this popular grant fund will deliver a range of control solutions leading to more cost effective and safer alternatives to manage pest animals and weeds.

It is expected successful projects will shift away from traditional pest animal and weed management approaches to develop new and emerging technologies.

Technologies could be adapted to control other pest and weed species, providing a broader suite of control options for integrated pest and weed management

The grant round projects will assist in overcoming emerging issues such as herbicide resistance and provide more effective alternatives for controlling pests such as hive beetles.

Our native species will also benefit through a reduction in pest and weeds that predate and, or compete for resources.

Successful projects will share $13 million over the next three years which will be supported by close to $12 million in other cash and in-kind support to add value to the program.

Further details on the grant round and a list of successful applicants is at: https://www.agriculture.gov.au/pe.sts-diseases-weeds/pest-animals-and-weeds/grant-round



Why these programs are needed:

  • The annual national cost of established vertebrate pest animals is estimated at $800 million, and over $4 billion for weeds
  • The grant round was well received with 197 eligible applications submitted
  • Applications were evaluated by an independent expert assessment panel with skills and experience in pest animal and weed management, policy, research, and governance
  • The grant round is part of the broader $30.3 million Pest Animals and Weeds Management Pipeline Program

Previous successful projects include:

o    a DNA-based genomic herbicide resistance testing platform

o    improving current biocontrol methods in rabbits

o    using gene drive suppression to eliminate invasive pest populations

o    improving detection and monitoring using eDNA

o    developing non-toxic pesticides using naturally derived minerals

o    exploring refrigeration techniques for grain pest control

o    developing autonomous machinery to replace herbicide for under-vine weed control

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