4 Dec 2009

Pest control rules likely for Crown land soon

9:25 pm on 4 December 2009

Waikato's regional council says the Government has accepted recommendations that could remove the exemption of Crown land from its pest control rules.

The council says that if an agreement is signed off by Cabinet, re-infection crossing from Crown land onto neighbouring properties will be curbed and money spent on pest control won't be wasted.

The council's advocate for biosecurity and heritage, Steven Bosak, says that while pest management does happen on Crown land, it fits in with its objectives and not the region's.

"The Crown is not obligated by law to abide by any of the rules in the regional pest management programmes that regional councils run," he says.

Mr Bosak says that nationally the Crown is underspending on pest control by about $2 million.

He hopes any new obligations might encourage Crown land officials to get involved in pest management plans.

"They're not getting involved at the development stage as much as we'd like them to be ... having their cooperation upfront when regional pest management strategies are being developed will be a large gain, I think, for everyone."

The council says the Biosecurity Amendment Bill should help clarify government and regional council roles in pest control.