Kathy Bobby, John Bobby, Helen Marino, Melissa Kerr and Santa Marino at the council's session on Invasive Pest Control Scheme and the Control Works Form on August 2.
Kathy Bobby, John Bobby, Helen Marino, Melissa Kerr and Santa Marino at the council's session on Invasive Pest Control Scheme and the Control Works Form on August 2. Kim Micke

Need to blitz pests discussed at community meeting

ABOUT 30 Southern Downs residents attended the council's session on the Invasive Pest Control Scheme yesterday.

Southern Downs Regional Council's pest management officer Craig Magnussen said under the scheme the responsibility of pest control rested with landholders.

Council has introduced an Invasive Pests Control Scheme levy that will be applied to all relevant land.

Mr Magnussen said landowners who showed compliance with invasive pest control responsibilities would receive a 100% concession of the levy.

He said about 6000 properties across the Southern Downs would be affected and decisions would be made on a case-by-case basis.

Depending on the size of a property, Mr Magnussen said landholders might not be expected to control pests 100% in the first year.

He said all declared pests were included in the scheme such as rabbits, wild dogs, blackberries and African boxhorn.

One attendee said she thought controlling rabbits was like asking the impossible.

"People have been trying for centuries,” she said.

"(Rabbits) come back.”

Mr Magnussen said rabbits would not breed unless they had underground warrens.

He said best practice in dealing with warrens was to destroy them with machines.

"It is very achievable to get rid of rabbits,” Mr Magnussen said.

Some people in the room voiced their disagreement with this sentiment.

Another female attendee said she thought the scheme was very good.

She said she had been doing pest control for years and thought the scheme would get neighbours to do the same.

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