Graeme Sawyer’s column ‘Toad war looms’ (NT Sunday Territorian 17/2/19) should serve as a wake up call to all who are in cabe toad areas. Mr Sawyer warns that cane toads, a scourge for the past 20years, are again on the move and could severely impact upon our lives.
Cane toads were a threatening menace until Frogwatch took a hand in devising control measures. The organisation’s effectiveness at toadbusting, helped with toad control. Sawyer, Frogwatch NT’s Coordinator, was recognised for his concern in 2014, when awarded a Pride of Australia medal for Community Service.
The CLP government’s decision, when in office, to remove funding from Frogwatch was not wise. When funding was discontinued, actioning Minister Bess Price was reported as suggesting that cane toads were no more an affliction than flies.
The loss of CLP government support stretched Frogwatch NT to a point where it’s contribution was placed under threat. Everything Frogwatch does is totally voluntary. It would be in our ecological and community interests for this organisation to be financially supported.
Local government should pick up the baton on this issue. The City of Darwin, Palmerston and Litchfield Councils should allocate an annual amount – my suggestion is $15,000 each a year – to Frogwatch. The NT Government should contribute $50 000 by way of an annual grant. This would restore important funding and encourage continued vigilance, educational programs and research against toads.
Without support, Frogwatch will be limited in what can be done about toad control.
A normal wet season will bring cane toads upon us all with a vengeance. We will quickly realise they cannot be brushed aside like flies.