Gamba funding a Budget win: now time to deliver
Yesterday’s Northern Territory Budget included these measures on gamba:
– $500,000 in funding for Territory NRM this financial year to start a Gamba Army, dedicated to gamba control efforts in priority areas during this control season.
– $225,000 per year for the newly established Gamba Bushfire Mitigation Unit to coordinate efforts between Weeds Management Branch and Bushfires NT.
– $100,000 to support Charles Darwin University mapping of priority areas for gamba grass infestations and mitigation efforts.
– Ongoing funding of $100,000 per year for the Gamba Action Program, which provides herbicide and equipment to landholders.
– Ongoing funding of $50,000 per year for the gamba landholder assistance scheme – more details to come on the focus and strategy that will guide this new support measure.
These funding outcomes represent the first steps towards delivering the Northern Territory Government’s pre-election gamba commitments.
“The community has been asking for more gamba action for years, and this Budget is an important response to that community pressure,” said Tiana Bremner, a Howard Springs landholder and spokesperson for Gamba Grass Roots.
“The gamba control season is starting and this money needs to flow into action on the ground straight away to make the most of the time we have left.”
“It’s great to see ongoing funding for a number of these measures. Territorians know that getting on top of gamba grass can require years of focused effort. Now we need to see that same ongoing commitment from the NT Government to build a Gamba Army that works beyond this season to make a big difference.”
“For the Gamba Army to work it will need funding for years, not just for this year.”
As Chief Minister Michael Gunner said on ABC Darwin on 10 September: “We want that Gamba Army to grow. I think 45 [jobs] is a good start, but you don’t stop there. You get it going, make sure it’s working and then build on it.”