Labor releases toads policy

LABOR'S tax policy? Not ready yet. But Labor does have a cane toad policy. Labor's Richmond MP Justine Elliot yesterday welcomed her party's plan to take action to stop the spread of the dreaded toads. The Labor National Cane Toad Plan will include: .Use of physical control measures such as trapping, fences and community campaigns to trap and dispose of cane toads; .Use of new technologies such as humane toxic sprays; and .Co-ordination of research and development of sustainable control measures. "Australia is facing a cane toad onslaught," Ms Elliot said. "We all know there has been an increase on the Tweed. "The wave of toads is heading south and west and they are likely to reach Western Australia next year. "Scientists predict they will reach northern Victoria and the Murray Darling basin as temperatures increase because of climate change. "For 11 years, the Howard government's neglect and a lack of a nationally co-ordinated approach to tackling this feral menace has made the problem worse. "A Rudd Labor government will develop a National Cane Toad Plan under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. "The National Cane Toad Plan will be backed up by a $2 million innovation fund to develop management and eradication solutions for the cane toad menace." Nationals candidate Sue Page naturally was not interested in hopping on the bandwagon. She said a cane toad policy was "not a policy I would be launching during an election campaign". "I'm surprised we're not hearing about their tax policy, and their schools policy is that no-one loses any schools funding," Dr Page said. "As a rural doctor I've travelled a lot and seen a lot of cane toads, some extraordinarily big ones." Dr Page said using toxic sprays against toads could harm other animals. She said it was likely that Labor had released a toad plan because it wanted to regain environmental credibility after supporting the Tasmanian pulp mill.



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