The Kununurra Cane Toad Working Group: (CTWG)
Meeting Minutes 13 June 2005
CALM Kununurra Office
Gordon Graham, Scott Goodson , Keith Wright , Chris Adams , Lee Scott Virtue, Gill Holmes , Jane Harman, Karin Carnes , Liz Kirkby, Dick Pasfield , Des Hill , Peter Grigg , Noel Wilson .
Special meeting to discuss the program since CALM has taken the role as lead agency and the developments in the community.
Update from Gordon Graham:
CALM have taken over as the lead agency from July 1 st 2005 . The team who were working for the Ag Dept has transferred over to CALM. The project manager position for the project is to be advertised this weekend locally and nationally. Gae Mackay will be responsible for the program in the Kimberley . The program will work along the same guidelines as the previous program; fighting the entry and establishment of toads in the Kimberley (which includes increased border security), biodiversity asset protection, public awareness and state-wide coordination.
Traps have been purchased from Frog Watch, super traps and the normal traps as well. CALM has ordered 20 of the super traps (solar panels to power the lights) – have 10 so far, 20 large traps (no solar panel) – have 10 so far and 30 of the smaller traps – have 10 so far.
The operation boundary is the Victoria River and an MOU is being developed with the Northern Territory government to operate in this area. There is also an operational strategy being developed with the NT Parks and Wildlife Service (NTPWS) for working in this area. The program will provide assistance to NTPWS where possible.
New infestation discovered on the Bradshaw Field Training Area, the toads were found at a construction site 60 kms north of the Vic River . NTPWS will focus on this area.
The main area of work in the near future will be in the Victoria Roadhouse region. The plan is to eventually set up a series of traps along the highway west of Victoria River . Traps have already been installed at the Coolibah crocodile farm and Timber Creek. There were 6 toads picked up in Timber Creek in the last year, all hitchhikers. Traps are also to be installed in caravan parks in Timber Creek and at Big Horse Creek, where there has been another reported sighting. There have had further reports of toads at the East Baines River . There will be further monitoring carried out in this area. Other areas for the establishment of traps will be Keep River National Park and the CALM’s depot in Kununurra. The latter primarily so people can see the traps and learn about the program.
Currently the requirement is that there are permits required for the use of traps in the Victoria River region, however the NT government has granted an exemption for this in the Darwin area, and this may possibly be extended to the Victoria River area. There were toads found in the Darwin Botanical Gardens this week.
There is a need to work through the Northern Land Council (NLC) to assist in getting the traditional owners in the NT involved in the trapping program. Hopefully there will be a meeting between the NLC, NTPWS and CALM in early August to progress this.
Currently there are further traps being built by Kununurra TAFE and schools in Perth .
The Minister for the Environment will be visiting Kununurra 26 th July to meet people involved in the cane toad program and travelling to the NT on the 27 th July to look at the on ground activities and meet with the Parks staff in the NT.
In regard to the time line for the placement of traps CALM is currently meeting with landowners to put the traps out. The trapping needs to be carried out in a coordinated effort. After the traps have been installed there will be a need to reassess the Victoria River area and any other points that the toads may be able to cross the river to see if traps are needed in other areas.
There was discussion on the timeline for the appointment of the project officer for the cane toad project, and the fact that this person would not probably commence until Sept some time. The use of volunteers on the project was discussed, and there may be some possibility of volunteers being used to assist in checking on reports of toads.
There will be a continuing accumulation of data to target areas that may be high risk at the build up to the wet, so these areas can also have traps put in place.
CALM will be approaching the caravan parks in Kununurra in the next week to offer traps to the parks and further public awareness information.
The placement of traps will continue to be undertaken following liaison with appropriate landowners.
CALM will be approaching the trucking companies in town to offer the use of traps and information. There will also be a cane toad display and trap at the Kununurra Show.
Update from Lee Scott Virtue:
Through the Conservation Council, there are currently eight TAFE centres constructing cane toad traps. They are making them similar to the Frog Watch trap and this is being funded by the Conservation Council. They can make eight traps per week. TAFE in Kununurra have also commenced trap construction and this is being funded by Jeff Hayley.
At the Kununurra Show Dr. Sarah Brett, the local veterinarian will commence a fund raising campaign for trap construction. It is hoped that by the end of August there will be several hundred traps constructed. Lee has commenced a list of people and businesses who would like to contribute to the program. Tourist operators have offered the use of vehicles, camping equipment and boats to get people into the field to assist with the program. Can move 200-500 people if needed. There is a need for the coordination for the movement of people and traps in the field. This coordination could come through the Cane Toad Working Group. There would be a need to liaise with Keith Saalfeld in regard to the use of volunteers in the NT to carry out this type of program to ensure that they would comply with the rules in the NT.
Lee Scott Virtue will compile a list of all the community input she has had from Broome and Kununurra and circulate to group.
The cane toad website is undergoing a face lift. The home page will be altered to show what is occurring in the community here. 19 th August 2005 is the 70 th anniversary of the introduction of the cane toad to Australia . Need to have some publicity for this event.
Waringarri has a pool of workers who are available if required through the CDEP program. To gain access to the pool need to contact Ronnie at Waringarri.
These ideas can be discussed with the Minister during her visit in late July.
Lee Scott Virtue is to put together the proposal for the use of volunteers to help control the spread of cane toads at the start of the wet season for consideration by the Cane Toad Working Group members.
The Cane Toad Working Group will be the group to coordinate the community input to the program.
The Cane Toad Working Group to approach all relevant government departments in Kununurra to gain endorsement of using the Cane Toad Working Group to coordinate the community response to the cane toads.
The Cane Toad Working Group to prepare a press release stressing the importance that all work carried out by the community on Cane Toads is to be coordinated through the Cane Toad Working Group.
Cane Toad Working Group to contact Anna Mardling KLC Broome to find out what is happening with cane toads in the land and sea unit in Broome.
Next meeting of the cane toad working group 2 nd August at CALM.