In fact our continuing compliance program, as developed by and for us, is one of the important reasons for the success of our Ongoing Pest Plant and Animal Integrated Control Programs.
Initially the officer responsible (DEPI at that time) approached The Granite Creeks Project to participate in planning the rabbit and blackberry compliance programs to be run in our region. The compliance program was explained. The most important part to us was that landholders are supported in meeting their obligations. Landholders are referred to our landcare groups for funding support and advice in addition to that provided by the Field Officers doing the inspections.
Secondly, and of critical importance, individual landholders are not ‘targeted’. Each year we identify a new compliance area. Over the eight years or more of the program, the selected areas have ensured a whole-of-landscape coverage; shown on the map. Our community knows that sooner or later, individually and collectively, they will be involved in a compliance program.
Many new owners have bought land over the past twenty years, many of whom have limited understanding and knowledge of the impact rabbits and blackberries have on their property, its value and the environment. For us compliance programs have supported our efforts to educate new landholders and have reinforced prior learning for longer-term landholders.
Because of the success of our community’s past work in pest plant and animal control, nearly all site visits by Field Officers provide an opportunity for landholders to be recognised and congratulated for the work they have done. Yes, there have been a few, less than %0.5, who have had to deal with the actions that result from non-compliance, but the community at large see this as supporting their own good work.
Net result … a win-win for agency staff and our community: a job made easier where limited resources are utilised with maximum and effective impact.