As most people are aware, in 2015 the LHI Board committed to a process for resolving an outcome for the proposed Rodent Eradication Project by agreeing on a planning and approval stage, at the end of which time a decision would be made about whether the project would proceed or not. This is outlined in the diagram below.
The Rodent Eradication project team has been working very hard to ensure all aspects of the project are in place ready for the Board to make a final decision on whether the project would proceed or not at the Board meeting on 14 March 2017.
Unfortunately, due to unexpected delays in the regulatory assessment process, we will not have some of the key approvals and permits in place before the March Board meeting. This applies in particular to the permit from the Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicine Authority (APVMA) and the approval under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
Therefore the Project team and the Project’s Steering Committee have advised the Board that if we are not ready in March 2017 for a decision on whether or not to proceed, the eradication project will not be ready for implementation in winter of 2017.
We have reached this position for several reasons:
- The Board is committed to the agreed Process for Resolution (see diagram above), whereby the key approvals need to be in place before the Board can make the Final Go/ No Go decision on the project
- We understand that the community will need time to read and understand the approvals and permits when received as well as the independent Human Health Risk Assessment
- If the decision to move ahead with the eradication is made, it is essential that the implementation of the project is not rushed and no short-cuts are taken,
- It is important to relay this information about the delay as early as possible, to give the community and key stakeholders certainty about the project and its implementation
Planning will therefore continue with a view to implement the project in winter 2018. The aim will be for the Board to make the Final Go / No Go decision for the project, should all the required approvals and permits be received, at the Board meeting in May 2017.
While we understand that a further delay on the Board’s decision is disappointing and frustrating, it is very important that if it goes ahead, the project follows proper process, is not rushed and is carried out to the highest possible standard.
As always if you have any questions about the project, please contact me or the project staff, Andrew and Anthony, at the Board offices.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Date: 31 January 2017