Regional pest management

Pest animals

The following animals are considered to be pests in the Cairns Regional Council area:

  • Feral pigs
  • Feral and wild dogs, including dingoes 
  • Cane rats
  • Feral deer
  • Indian Myna birds

Feral Pigs

Feral pigs (Sus scrofa) are a major pest animal in the Wet Tropics area of far north Queensland. Pigs damage the natural environment and pose a major threat to the conservation values of the Wet Tropics World Heritage area. They cause significant losses to agricultural enterprises in the region, and harbour and spread diseases affecting native animals, stock and humans. 

Rats and mice

Introduced rats and mice are subject to health legislation and are not dealt with in Council's pest management process.

Indian Myna birds

Council supports local community groups in managing myna bird populations in the Cairns area.

Pest plants

Eighty introduced plants species were identified by the Pest Management Working Group as current or potential pests to one or more of the various land uses in the Cairns Regional Council area. Of these, the pest plants with the highest priority rating were included in Council's Pest Management Plan. The greatest management effort is put into the control of Thunbergia, Giant Sensitive Plant, Sicklepod, Pond Apple and Hymenachne.

Responsibilities of Council

  • Ensuring that declared plants and declared animals are controlled within Council area as outlined in Part 5 of the Land Protection (Pests & Stock Route Management) Act 2002.
  • Preventing the introduction and spread of declared plants and animals within this local government area.
  • Enforcing relevant provisions of the Land Protection (Pest & Stock Route Management) Act 2002.

Responsibilities of landowners

Under Part 8 of the Act, there is an obligation for landowners to undertake certain activities in relation to pest plant and animal management. As indicated in the Act, obligations are as follows:

A landowner must take reasonable steps to keep land free of class 1 and class 2 pests (unless they hold a declared pest permit allowing the pests to be kept on the land), when it is:

(a) the owner's land
(b) unfenced land comprising part of a road or stock route that adjoins or is within the owner's land
(c) other land that is fenced in with the owner's land
(d) the bed, banks and water of a watercourse on the owner's land
(e) the bed, banks and water to the centreline of a watercourse forming a boundary, or part of a boundary, of the owner's land.

Pest Management Plans

Pest plants and animals are seen to be more or less of a threat depending on the primary values for which a landholder is managing the land.

Pest Management Working Group

The Pest Management Working Group was formed in September 1998 to implement the Pest Management Plan by considering all pests in relation to the range of land management priorities in the City of Cairns area. Initially the challenge for the Working Group was to consider the varied land uses and needs of the former Mulgrave Shire and the needs of urban residents.

With the introduction of the new Act in 2003, the original Pest Management Plan has been updated to coincide with the new provisions. The Pest Management Working Group is a mandatory requirement for each local government area as per Part 4 of the Act. 

Far North Queensland Pest Advisory Committee

Cairns Regional Council officers and Councillor attend the Far North Queensland Local Government Pest Plan Advisory Committee and Far North Queensland Pest Advisory Forum. These meeting are held on a quarterly basis.

Landholder incentive program: quik spray herbicide sprayer

This 300 litre Quik Spray unit is available for loan to Wet Tropics neighbours to facilitate weed management on private land, in order to protect the integrity of the area. This project assists landholders and farmers to manage the World Heritage Area boundary. For more information on the Quik Spray service, phone Council on 4044 3044.

Last updated: 20 April 2017