Kimberley Toad Buster's

Media Release

The aim of this website is to document the Kimberley Toad Busters fight to stop the cane toad crossing into Western Australia and to provide the Western Australian Community some understanding of the enormous efforts (and contributions) that can be made by unpaid volunteers!
Cane toads threaten Wyndham’s water supply!
‘Indigenous kids at risk"
The Cane Toad is a Key Threatening Process to the Australian Nation
Declared by the Federal Government 12 April 2005.

Kimberley Toad Busters Media Release 19/02/2012

Kimberley Toad Busters caught in political funding ‘conundrum’.

Kimberley Toad Buster volunteers have conservatively removed 2.4 million toads or 552 tonnes of toad biomass from the environment, contributed around 240,540 hours of toad busting and other related activities yet continue to find themselves increasingly caught in a proverbial political ‘conundrum’.

“It seems the more we achieve in terms of real ‘cane toad’ results the less government support we get” stated Lee Scott-Virtue, KTB President, founder and volunteer. “Our organisation continues to grow, we now work in partnership with Indigenous youth at risk groups and junior and senior ranger groups from around the Kimberley, provide an educational program that has even caught the interest of the WA education system, are sponsoring 8 independent researchers from around Australia and overseas and yet we struggle to get Government agencies to fund our efforts” she further stated.

Four years ago KTB received $1.2 million from the WA government. No further funding has been received since. Norma Wainwright, KTB Treasurer and volunteer states “while KTB are grateful for the confidence shown by the state government in the work being achieved by our volunteers in the fight to mitigate the impact of the cane toad on our Kimberley native wildlife KTB have actually put in around a conservative $6,013,500 return”. She further commented “this equates to more than a 400% return in monetary value for every dollar contributed by the government, but how do you measure, in dollars, the actual social, economic and environmental achievements of a volunteer group like KTB”.

“The conundrum is that if the state government had put in the same amount of people and effort to achieve the same results KTB have, it would have cost the government conservatively around $15,635,100” added Dean Goodgame, KTB Technical adviser & volunteer. He further stated “and this is only working on around $45 an hour, inclusive GST, super and all the other benefits a DEC employee gets”.

“The ironical and almost laughable aspect of this conundrum is that KTB, in letters of ‘funding knockbacks’ from Royalties for Regions and Caring for Country are told that many of KTB’s programs such as the cane toad education and biodiversity “What’s in your Backyard?” recording programs are in direct conflict with the DEC programs” remarked Ben Scott-Virtue, KTB Field & Education Coordinator. He went on to add “you only have to look at DEC’s response to the management of cane toads in the World Heritage National Park Purnululu to realise that DEC have given up and are only focussed on their main tourism areas rather than the park as a whole”.

KTB are the only ones who are monitoring the forward movement of toads. They are the only ones seriously doing something about ‘the bigger picture’ of cane toad control and impact and while the $1,000,000 committed by the Federal Liberal government to KTB if they get into power may provide some solution to the funding difficulties KTB need the State government to get serious about community efforts and realise that neither DEC nor the state can deal with this invading menace without community input. Without community efforts the cane toad may yet have the last laugh!

Lee Scott-Virtue, President & founder on 91798080
If everyone became a toad buster
The toads would be busted!

For further information on the program please ring Kimberley Toad Busters Lee Scott-Virtue on 91687080, or Lyndon Smith on 91682576 or Danielle Taylor on 0406048930.
If you require high resolution photographs please contact Lee on 91687080.
If everyone became a toad buster
The toads would be busted!