Australia expects worst locust plague for decades

In Australasia, News Headlines

The worst locust plague in 30 years is expected to hit regional New South Wales in the coming weeks, and the State Government has begun measures to control the outbreak.

Warmer than usual temperatures in the west have experts predicting that locusts will hatch in vast numbers around Warren, Coonamble, Brewarrina and Bourke by mid-August.

Minister for Primary Industries Steve Whan says more than $18 million is being committed to battling the locusts, but property owners need to do their part as well.

“One of the big challenges for us is to try and make sure people do keep an eye on their properties,” he said.

“We will have 40 planes which we’ll be doing aerial surveillance with, but we really do need land owners to keep an eye on their land themselves.

“Our biggest challenge is in those areas where there’s absentee land holders – they need to be ensuring that someone is keeping an eye on their properties.”

Mr Whan says the outbreak may be the worst in 30 years.

“Conditions have been good for locusts to breed, as well as good for growing of crops … and so our challenge this year is to try and minimise the impact of this locust plague,” he said.

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