Funding for the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions (CISS) is fast running out with critical research programs starting to be wound up by next month.
Independent ACT Senator David Pocock is calling on the Agriculture Minister to urgently intervene and continue the centre’s funding.
The Centre was first established in 2016, and followed on from the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre established in 2005.
It partners with a range of organisations including the CSIRO, state and territory and industry and has been hugely successful in leveraging investment attracting $2.33 for every core dollar allocated.
The Centre conducts a wide range of activities, including in partnership with the community, from monitoring and surveillance to developing the tools and technologies needed to eradicate everything from rabbits to feral pigs.
Senator Pocock said enabling the centre to continue its important work is vital to Australia’s ongoing biosecurity and biodiversity.
“If this centre is allowed to close it will be the first time in almost two decades that Australia doesn’t have a dedicated invasive species research and development capability,” Mr Pocock said.
“CISS has achieved enormous value for taxpayer investment, turning a $20 million federal investment into a $77 million research budget in the fight against a problem that has cost Australia more than $390 billion in the past six decades.
“The people working at CISS are absolute leaders in their field, we can’t afford to let go of their expertise.
“We need the federal government to act now and stop them falling off this funding cliff.
“Australia is already a world leader in species extinction. We now have more non-native plant species than native plant species in Australia.
“R&D centres of excellence like CISS are the tools we must have to turn this around.”