The ACT Minister for the Environment has welcomed the newly established Rapid Response Biosecurity Team, saying it was targeting new incursions of invasive species in the ACT and combatting the impacts of climate change.
The Minister, Rebecca Vassarotti said Canberra’s environment was precious and important to all Canberrans, but was under threat by climate change and invasive species.
Ms Vassarotti said that was why the new Team was established, to operate across all land and protect and enhance our local environment.
“A detailed assessment of the reported economic costs of invasive species in Australia highlights that in the last 60 years, invasive species have cost the Australian economy $389.59 billion,” Ms Vassarotti said.
“These costs are expected to increase under the impacts of climate change unless we take action.”
Program Manager of the Team, Kirsten Tasker said it had already been hard at work preventing and responding to invasive species, and it expected to be busier the Autumn and Winter months.
“We know that Canberrans love to take an active role in helping protect our unique native biodiversity and take action on climate change,” Ms Tasker said.
“You can help us identify and treat biosecurity threats by joining local volunteer groups or reporting sightings of our most-wanted weeds through Canberra Nature Map or by phoning Access Canberra on 13 22 81,” she said.
Ms Vassarotti said the Team would enhance partnerships between Government, community and volunteer groups in the protection of the local environment and provide greater opportunity for citizen science in tackling biosecurity issues as they arose.
“Biosecurity is everyone’s responsibility,” she said.
“We all have a role to play.”
The Canberra Nature Map can be accessed at this PS News link.