Cane toads


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The Kununurra Cane Toad Working Group: (CTWG)

Meeting Minutes 05 April 2005


Dick Pasfield, Keith Wright, Duncan Palmer, Noel Wilson, Des Hill, Dougie Powers, Katya Tripp,
Karin Carnes, Gae Mackay


Nil received

Minutes from previous meeting:

Accepted. (Need to change attendance to show Dougie Powers (not Doug Palmer)

Terms of Reference:

The Terms of Reference for the group were endorsed and accepted as reflected in the last minutes.

Update on Cane Toad Initiative Project (Noel Wilson):

  • WA Cane Toad surveillance team are liaising with NT on the cane toad trap trials, evaluating the
    6 finalist traps for effectiveness sin a range of different habitats. The WA team will trial the traps
    over the next three weeks, in a riverine area near Victoria River. NT staff in a swamp and grasslands environment are conducting other trap trials. The trials are looing at how effective the traps are, how they work what they catch etc. Any toads trapped each day are tagged and released and toads
    at the end of the trial will be destroyed.
  • Reports of toads were followed up at Lakeside and Wyndham, with no toad findings
  • Surveillance has been planned for a number of areas, including Legune, Bullo River,
    Coolabah Station, (reports of an isolated population), Flora Hill station (reports of dead dog,
    crows and lizard have been received –at this stage it appears unlikely toads are the cause, but it warrants further inspection), Kalkeringi (previously checked by too dry to find toads –try again
    now that it is wetter)
  • Cane Toad information presentation shave been made to a number of audiences, including Horticultural Review, LCDC meetings and others.
  • 1800 number (DAWA in Perth) is now in place, with 24 hour coverage for enquiries
  • A tender has been let by DAWA for the development of cane toad information package (including brochures, display materials, posters, stickers etc
  • Action: Noel Wilson: To emphasise the need for the interpretation and education sub committee to have the opportunity top provide input/comment on draft
    educational/awareness materials being prepared by the successful tenderer
  • Action: Karin (?) to follow up with Jean Fenton’s supervisor regarding the cane toad information being prepared for indigenous communities – to try to get a copy to
    determine whether it can be used for additional material or print runs.
  • Action: Karin Carnes: To follow up on suggestion about having a cane toad
    advertisement at the Knx Picture Gardens, for screening at the beginning of movies.
  • Action: Noel Wilson (?): To follow up on Warringarri radio 87.6 regarding a cane toad
    message to be played on the tourist station.
  • Action: everyone: to send any new cane toad awareness ideas to Noel who will pass
    them onto the DAWA media people for consideration (including posters in indigenous language, picture gardens ad, radio ads etc)

Discussion regarding local community representation on the State Cane Toad Management Advisory

  • Minister Chance reportedly supported the concept of having local representation on the
    State Group (in a media statement following the cane toad forum)
  • The CTWG identified a number of benefits of having local representation on the State group,
    • Provision of immediate and accurate feedback (both to the State group and back to
      the local community)
    • Able to “talk to” issues, i.e. provide background information pertaining to cane toads,
      and/or cane toad issues
    • The strategy being developed by the State Group will need to be implemented, and the implementation is most likely to begin in the Kimberley Region. A local community representative will be able to comment on options, feasibility and potential barriers to on-ground actions suggested in the strategy, without delaying the process. A local will also provide a “reality check” on what will work and what will not work in the field.
    • Having a local community representative will ensure community ownership of the
      Cane Toad strategy, and is likely to speed up local implementation.

Cane Toad Forum Feedback:

  • Most discussion relating to the cane toad forum was positive.
  • Some reports from Perth that “not many community people attended”. In fact, over the first day,
    there was between 50 and 90 people at any one time, with people coming and going all day. An estimated 250+ Kununurra based people are estimated to have attended the forum, which is a
    good result considering the size of the town.
  • Has been some press from community groups, politicians etc, but a lack of outward
    communication form the Cane Toad Working Group, or the Cane Toad Initiative (DAWA/CALM) specifically relating to the forum.
  • Some concern raised that while community attended the first day, not many attending the
    second “scientific” day, where quite a few of thew suggestions that came out of the
    community day were “squashed” by scientific studies. This may result in some unrealistic
    community expectations lingering on.

Other business:

  • Dick is finalising the Ord Land & Water newsletter (to be distributed late April), with a focus
    on cane toads
  • Doug Powers and Scott Goodson are attending the NRM meeting in Alice Springs and have
    offered to present materials relating to cane toads if applicable.

Guests: Rob Gillam (Chair of State Cane Toad Management Advisory Group) and Chris Richardson
(Chair, APB).

  • Aiming for at eh first meeting to be held in Perth on April 21/22.
  • Rob is “not convinced” that local representation is required at the State level.
  • Applying a “suck it and see” approach; may review the need for local representation at a later
  • Feedback from the CTWG to Chris and Rob as per minutes under heading Discussion
    regarding local community representation on the State Cane Toad Management Advisory Group
  • Karin raised the point that it is surprising that the State group had not considered the benefits
    of having a Kimberley community representative on the Advisory Group.
  • Considerable debate regarding the merits or otherwise of having a local representative.
  • Final position at the closure of the meeting was that Rob and Chris would “consider” having a
    local community representative, but emphasised the need for the “right” person to be nominated.
  • Action: CTWG to nominate a community member (not government agency
    representative), to be considered for inclusion on the State Advisory Group.
    Nominations to be sent to Noel Wilson, for forwarding.

 Next Meeting: Monday 2 May, commencing at 2pm at CALM offices.

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