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Pilot Programs for management of Asian honeybees and myrtle rust


In a post–Budget announcement on 20 May 2011, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator the Hon Joe Ludwig, said that pilot programs would be designed for the management of Asian honeybees and myrtle rust. This follows the conclusion that the eradication of both species is no longer feasible.
The funding of these new programs will be $2 million for the management of Asian honeybees and $1.5 million for the management of myrtle rust. It has not been announced over what timeframe the money will be made available.

This funding is separate from the Animal and Plant Pest Eradication Programs detailed in the Budget. It was noted in the Library’s Budget Review 2011-12 on Pests that funding for existing commitments to these programs is due to cease in 2012-13 and the funding levels for the programs will decline from $12.6 million in 2010–11 to $2.8 million in 2011–12. The Budget Review suggested that this may be linked to the conclusion by authorities that eradication of both pests was no longer feasible. Senator Ludwig stated in March 2011 that this conclusion did not mean that control activities relating to the Asian honeybee would cease.

The post–Budget initiative will implement the 2010 national transitional containment principles developed by the National Biosecurity Committee. This indicates that control efforts will transition from eradication to containment and then, if containment is unsuccessful, to ongoing management of the two pests in Australia.

(image source from: http://www.dpi.qld.gov.au/images/Biosecurity_GeneralAnimalHealthPestsAndDiseases/AHB-swarm-tree.jpg)