Eastern Wheatbelt Biosecurity Group
Protect and support the future of the Eastern Wheatbelt by working with landholders to fulfil their responsibility of managing declared pests on their land.
The EWBG began in 2000-2001 with three Shires each contributing financially to the group and matched dollar for dollar by the State Government. There are now eleven Shires in the EWBG control area. These Shires border the eastern edge of the Wheatbelt agricultural area and are bounded on the eastern side by the State Barrier Fence.
In 2015-16 the EWBG transitioned from a Declared Species Group to a Recognised Biosecurity Group under the Biosecurity and Management Act. A Recognised Biosecurity Group is a mechanism under the Biosecurity and Agricultural Management Act 2007 to enable landholders and managers to develop a coordinated approach to control and manage declared pests in their area.
What We Do
The EWBG believes declared pests can be better managed by working together as a community in conjunction with industry and government. Through a coordinated approach utilising a variety of strategies and technologies, EWBG can better assist and support landholders.
The EWBG is an Incorporated organisation with eleven Shire representatives making up the EWBG membership. A management group of five is elected who direct and manage the day to day operations.
The management group work on a voluntary basis, with an in-kind contribution of approximately $15,000 a year from each Shire (volunteer's contribution of time and travel to meetings, plus attending bait making days).
The EWBG employ an Executive Officer part time and two full time Licenced Pest Management Technicians, who are contracted to the group for 200 days per year. All wild dogs that are caught are dated and given GPS coordinates (which is entered into data loggers). This gives the exact number of dogs caught and where the main concentrations are. From 2008-2016 there have been over 50,000 baits used, all made by volunteers together with the Licensed Pest Management Technicians.
The EWBG is supported financially by the mining company Western Areas LTD (WSA), the Department of Agriculture and Food, Australian Wool Innovation, Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) and the State Governments Royalties for Regions program.
Successfully reducing dog predation since 2000
While the EWBG does not remove your legal obligation to control pests on your land, we believe a grassroots effort of the community is most effective. Your financial contribution through rate payments assists us to continue to employ trained pest management technicians, and utilise the most current and effective pest management techniques.
The EWBG has been very successful in reducing dog predation in the area enabling farmers to enter back into livestock or adjusting sheep over the Summer months in the area and thus diversifying the agricultural economic base. In 2000-2001 reported sheep losses were more than 2000 head. In 2008, 1000 head and in 2016 the reported losses were 50 head.
The EWBG has played a significant role in ensuring farmers can continue to stock sheep in the South West of WA. The South West of WA which includes the EWBG control area, is one of the only areas in Australia that is marked free of dogs behind the State Barrier Fence.
Wild dog numbers have reduced in the area with the EWBG Pest Management Technicians catching 200 dogs a year in the early 2000's to 20-30 dogs a year in current days.
The EWBG has also been very active in the removal of a large number of cats and foxes from the control area. This has led to a resurgence of native animals and birds in the control area.