Who are the Kimberley Toad Busters?
The Kimberley Toad Busters community volunteer group (KTB) was initiated and organised by the Kununurra based Kimberley Specialists in Research Inc. (KSR), a non-profit environment research organisation formally established in 1998. Discussion and consultation by KSIR with various local government organisations in the East Kimberley in late 2004 culminated in the establishment of the Kununurra Cane Toad Working Group (CTWG), which promoted communication and coordination between government and the community for the coming campaign.
KSIR then fund raised, initiated and organised the Kununurra Cane Toad Forum held 19-20 March 2005. KSR invited cane toad specialists from around Australia to inform the Kununurra community about what it truly faced if cane toads occupied the Kimberley . The papers from this forum have been published on the KSR sponsored cane toad web sitewww.canetoads.com.au and will be formally published once funding and workload permit. Regular campaign newsletters are published by KSR on this web site. Accordingly, all field work by the KTB and their field results have been shared through the web site and through the Kununurra Cane Toad Working Group, for anyone to easily access and acquaint themselves with our work.
KSR organised the early cane toad busting and training, and funded (and still partially funds) the recurrent costs of cane toad busting, established the Kimberley Toad Busters in August 2005 and is gradually devolving the campaign responsibility from KSR to the Kimberley Toad Busters who have just become an incorporated group. The Kimberley Toad Busters Inc:
- are all volunteers and have no paid members.
- are the only Western Australian Toad Busting volunteer organisation working in the field at the cane toad front in the NT
- are focused on stopping the cane toad from crossing into Western Australia
- have a volunteer multi-cultural organisation based in Kununurra
- have a membership base comprised of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal individuals and groups from the East Kimberley
- are largely self-funded with donations and some sponsorship from CALM, SWEK, individuals, community business and the Federal Government
- have just had the Federal Minister for Environment, Ian Campbell, commit a further $224,000 on top of the initial $79,000 contributed for the purchase of two quad bikes and a Toyota 4W/D Trayback
- have just incorporated as a Community Group
KTB as Umbrella Coordinator
Kimberley Toad Busters is a generic umbrella term for the multiple East Kimberley groups that have an interest in stopping the cane toad from crossing into Western Australia . Each weekend, KSR and Kimberley Toad Busters coordinate and organise placement of all volunteer teams as concluded necessary by the previous week’s field results, debriefing with CALM and our ever increasing data base. The field work exercises are coordinated by Lee Scott-Virtue with assistance as called for. The KTB groups include:
- KTB Research Advisory
Leader: Ade Meredith & Lee Scott-Virtue (the organisation of, collection and collation of data from KTB field groups, liaison with universities/research groups/Kimberley Specialists in Research)
- KTB Cane Toad Trap making
Leader: Chris Spurr (TAFE KTB trap making, TAFE KTB cane toad ranger course)
- KTB Safety Field Operational
Leader: Del Collins in consultation with Bob Cooper (Lions, CALM Insurance cover).
- KTB Operational Field & Trapping Strategy
Leader: Lee Scott-Virtue (Coordinate all groups’ trapping location and activities on basis of previous weeks trapping results, weekly debrief of all groups results with CALM, constant updating of field strategies, KSR and KWR liaison)
- KTB Cane Toad ‘Educational’ Training
Leaders: Sarah Brett (KTB & KWR), Lee Scott-Virtue (KTB & KSR) Chris Spur (KTB & TAFE) & Ronnie Atkins (KTB & Waringarri CDEP), Maryanne Winton, ( Aboriginal Leader, Dharlu Community)., Sandra Boulter, (KTB & Perth based Friends of the Kimberley Toad Busters)
- KTB Field Equipment Advisory
Leader: Dean Goodgame (KSR & KTB) (Repair, Maintain, store and distribute equipment and transport for all groups at front)
- KTB Web site: Maintenance and updating of KTB web site
Leader: Dean Goodgame and Lee Scott-Virtue (KSR and KTB).
- KTB Euthanasia Control
Leader: Del Collins & Sarah Brett (Liaise with Kimberley Vet Centre, volunteer safety)
- KTB Fund Raising, Communication and Public Relations
Leaders: Sandra Boulter (KTB and Friends of the Kimberley Toad Busters) Lee Scott-Virtue (KTB & KSR).
- Kimberley Speleologists’ Group
Leader: Dave Woods, Chris Shaw & John Cugley (Field trapping, data reports, GPS maps)
- SWEK Liaison.
Leader Sharon McLachlan
- Warrangari Team
Leader: Ronnie Atkins, Coordinator for Warrangari CDEP)..