PLAY TIME: Queenslanders seem more friendly towards cane toads than the DPI says they should be.
PLAY TIME: Queenslanders seem more friendly towards cane toads than the DPI says they should be. Alistair Brightman

Cane toads and other critters draw up invasion plans

IT'S not even close to State Of Origin and the people of NSW should be aware it's no longer just those dreaded cane toads crossing the border and coming to get us.

Another line-up of non-native pest species are making their way into the state including Asian black-spined toads, hedgehogs, snakes and turtles, and these critters know nothing about playing football.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is warning that prompt management action against introduced pests is required and welcomes input from the public on two new regulatory proposals.

The DPI Deputy Director in charge of general biosecurity and food safety, Bruce Christie, said the strategy aims to better manage risks posed by cane toads and new pest animal incursions.

"These species have the potential to seriously impact on our environment,” he said.

"They can introduce exotic diseases which could impact on our economy, environment and way of life.

"We want to ensure reporting of high-risk exotic animals is made as early as possible so biosecurity risks from intentional trafficking, stowaways, or other means, can be managed efficiently and effectively.”

The cane toad discussion paper proposes a biosecurity zone which will help prevent the spread and establishment of these creatures beyond their current distribution. 

The proposed zone would include all NSW local government areas except those that cane toads already infest - Tweed, Byron, Lismore and Ballina LGA's and eastern parts of Richmond Valley, Kyogle and Clarence Valley LGA's.

Proposed regulatory measures include requirements for landholders to notify authorities of the presence of cane toads, to destroy cane toads on their land and prohibit people moving, keeping or releasing cane toads. 

Current legislation requires anyone who comes in contact with or otherwise deals with cane toads to ensure biosecurity risks are prevented, eliminated or minimised across NSW.  

A second discussion paper outlines a proposal to further improve the way NSW manages new pest animal incursions.

Submissions close on Friday, April 27.

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