Image for $70m and still no live foxes. Government committed to continued funding

WITH front-line jobs expected to be on the chopping block as the state government brings down its budget in just over three weeks, almost $70 million has so far been set aside for the Fox Eradication Program - with no live captures to show for it.

As the public service braces for a tighter than tight budget, Environment Minister Brian Wightman said the government was committed to injecting a further $3.1 million a year to the $56.6 million 10-year eradication program established in 2007-2008.

“The Australian government has similarly recognised the serious threat that foxes pose to Tasmania and committed to support the Tasmanian fox eradication effort,” Mr Wightman said.

“The Australian government provided $1 million in funding for the 2009-10 financial year.

“While I am not going to engage in speculation on the budget, I do believe it’s important to continue to work to prevent fox populations from taking a foothold in Tasmania.”

The Invasive Animals Co- operative Research Centre also provides funding to the program.

The program has 45 staff based across the state, which monitor signs of fox activity including spotlighting and scat surveys.

In the past week the program’s new manager, former Queensland CIB detective Craig Elliott, said the baiting of foxes was the best way to help eradicate the pest.

• ABC Online: Call to redirect fox fighting funds