Through a terms of reference, the NSW Premier and the then Minister for the Environment requested that the Commission evaluate the supplementary pest control trial program to assist the Government in deciding whether, and how, to proceed with the proposed supplementary pest control program beyond the three-year trial period.
The supplementary pest control trial program uses volunteer shooters, and aims to assist in controlling pest animals by complementing ongoing National Parks and Wildlife Service pest control programs.
Government supports Commission’s recommendations to continue the program
The NSW Government has decided to continue the supplementary pest control program in line with the Commission’s recommendations. In 2017, the Commission provided its final evaluation report to Government and recommended that the program continue and be expanded beyond the trial phase.
On behalf of the then Minister for the Environment, the then Office of Environment and Heritage provided a formal response to the Commission’s evaluation of the National Parks and Wildlife Service led three-year trial of the supplementary pest control program, and supported all nine recommendations.
Final report released
In February 2017, the Commission submitted its final report to Government on the supplementary pest control trial.
The Commission has now publicly released its final report.
The final report concluded that volunteer ground shooting has the potential to be an effective supplementary pest control technique in the state’s national parks and other reserves, if used as part of an integrated pest management program under controlled conditions.
The Commission recommends that the supplementary pest control program continue and be expanded beyond the trial phase provided that:
- the current safety and animal welfare standards are maintained
- drawing on the lessons from this trial, it is strategically applied where it can provide most benefit as part of an integrated pest management program
- additional funding is allocated separate from the National Parks and Wildlife Service's core pest management budget.
The Commission greatly appreciates the time and effort of all those involved throughout the evaluation. The valuable feedback and insights received have informed the final recommendations.
- Final evaluation report - Supplementary pest control trial (February 2017)
The Commission has previously released an interim evaluation report, a preliminary evaluation of trial design, and an overview of the evaluation framework.
The interim evaluation found early positive results from trialling volunteer pest control in national parks. The preliminary evaluation report focused on the design of the trial and found that the trial was well designed, and is consistent with the program approved by Government. The overview of the evaluation framework outlined the scope and objectives of the evaluation, how the evaluation will be conducted, and the evaluation milestones and deliverables.
Interim evaluation - Supplementary pest control trial
Preliminary evaluation - Supplementary pest control trial (December 2014)
Overview of evaluation framework - Supplementary pest control trial (August 2014)
The NSW Government has announced a supplementary pest control trial program in national parks and other reserves using volunteer shooters who will work under the direct supervision of the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
The purpose of this program is to assist in controlling pest animals by complementing ongoing National Parks and Wildlife Service pest control programs.
The program will commence initially as a three-year trial in 12 reserves.
The trial will be independently evaluated before any further roll out of the program.
The Office of Environment and Heritage website has more information on the supplementary pest control trial program.
The Commission will independently evaluate the trial based on an evidence-based exploration of the key issues, outputs and outcomes achieved during the trial period.
In developing its advice, the Commission will consider:
- the effectiveness of the trial in contributing to the aims and objectives of existing National Parks and Wildlife Service pest control programs
- the efficiency of the trial, including costs and benefits of the trial, and comparison with alternative uses of the available resources
- the social impacts of the trial, including an analysis of safety and animal welfare outcomes, stakeholder perceptions of the program, and levels of engagement with park neighbours, Aboriginal groups and other local stakeholders.
The scope of the evaluation does not include evaluation of other National Parks and Wildlife Service pest control programs. It also does not include evaluation of ground shooting as a stand-alone pest control technique.
The Commission will consult with relevant stakeholders and technical experts, and will work closely with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage in designing and conducting the evaluation. The evaluation will encompass ongoing data collection and analysis to inform the evaluation of the trial.
During the evaluation, the Commission will produce the following deliverables which will be made publicly available on this website.
Schedule of evaluation deliverables