Urban residents and lifestyle block owners will have a new way to pay for controlling plant and animal pests under in Environment Waikato’s Long-Term Council Community Plan adopted today.
A new $5.20 per property Pest and Weed Control rate will not raise any new money but will replace funding that used to come from the General Rate. The rate will be paid on properties under two hectares – mostly in urban areas -- to help control high threat plant and animal pests, like mothplant and Argentine ant.
It also pays for providing advice to landowners with plant and animal pest problems and will fund monitoring and enforcement of plant pest problems in urban and lifestyle areas.
Almost 1500 submissions were received on the rate, with 57 percent in favour and 43 percent opposed. Many submissions indicated that there was a need to promote a better understanding of the Council’s responsibilities and functions in biosecurity.
Chairman Neil Clarke said the new collection mechanism was a more transparent means of funding the Regional Pest Management Strategy, which found that about 56 percent of costs were incurred in urban areas.
The existing Biosecurity rate for properties over two hectares, which pays for the control of Bovine Tb, will remain unchanged for the next three years of the Regional Pest Management Strategy term. The General Rate will continue to fund the majority of community initiatives, biological controls, surveillance and management.