1296. Hon ALISON XAMON to the Minister for Agriculture and Food:
I refer to the classification of dingoes as declared pests under section 22 of the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007.
(1) Is the minister aware of the significant international scientific support for alternative nonlethal mechanisms to control apex predators?
(2) Does the minister acknowledge the evidence that killing apex predators like dingoes may increase the number of smaller feral predators such as cats and foxes?
(3) Has any monitoring of the killing of dingoes under the “Western Australian Wild Dog Action Plan 2016–2021” been undertaken?
(4) If no to (3), how can the minister be confident that actions taken against dingoes are not a threat to the long-term survival of this ecologically and culturally significant animal?
Hon ALANNAH MacTIERNAN replied:
I thank the member for the question.
(1)–(4) There will be a review next year to determine the outcomes to date of the wild dog action plan and to guide the focus of programs going forward. We had directed part of the fund for research and development, and I was hopeful that we might get some imaginative sorts of alternative thinking projects come forward under that banner, but I do not think we can say that that indeed happened. Although it is clear that the sheep industry cannot coexist with a significant wild dog population, there is dispute about how to best deal with them in other areas. We acknowledge the need to understand how the control of wild dogs and other ferals impacts on each other and the role of wild dogs in natural systems as well as farming systems.