Thu, 20/02/2014

Greens Member for the Mining and Pastoral region Robin Chapple has queried the government’s decision to employ cane toad detector dog Reggie and locate him in Kununurra.

“This is nothing more than a token gesture by a government wanting to be seen to be doing something about the cane toad invasion into WA, and wasting taxpayers’ money doing it,” Mr Chapple said.

“Instead of this tokenism, the government should be putting generous amounts of funding into achieving cane toad eradication in Australia once and for all: through boosting investigations into biological controls and continuing to fund the community group Kimberley Toadbusters, whose efforts during the past decade has resulted in a significant slowing of the cane toad front.

“What good can one dog, based in Kununurra amidst millions of cane toads, do?

“It would make more sense if dozens of dogs were used to sniff out cane toads arriving on trucks, ships, boats, airplanes and cars in places not yet infested with cane toads, so they can be eradicated.

“And what good is a sniffer dog in the wet season when all the toads have to do to get away is jump aboard a ‘raft’ of flotsam and be carried away by floodwaters, to establish a new colony downstream and on islands.

“Reggie is the second cane toad detector dog for WA. The first one, Nifty, was apparently retired for ‘health reasons’. It’d be interesting to find out how much Nifty and her handlers, vet’s bills, transport, board and lodgings cost the taxpayers, and what the budget is for Reggie. How will the government calculate the benefits of all this expenditure to West Australians?” Mr Chapple said.

For more information please contact Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263 or 9486 8255

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