On an annual basis eligible landholders receive a Declared Pest Rate via the mail. It is issued by Revenue WA, on behalf of DPIRD who administers the Declared Pest Account. Beyond being the means for collecting revenue, the rate notice is an important communication tool with landholders.
The Declared Pest Rate has been a source of much confusion within the South West. Many landholders reported that they simply threw it in the bin, for reasons ranging from that it was a scam to not realising that it applied to them. Others did not understand the charging method and process, including that it was an annual charge.
Many landholders believe that the rate is for the government to undertake pest control work, with some landholders protesting that they have been charged twice for this service - by local government through their council rates and by the state government through the declared pest rate. There is a low understanding that the Declared Pest Rate is collected and matched by the state government, with the funds being transferred to the recognised biosecurity where the funds were collected. Even where there is an understanding that the funds are transferred to the biosecurity group, there is a common misconception that the biosecurity group will come on property and control all declared pests.
The PHBG has been working hard on building its brand and offering consistent and clear messages about its work. This project will provide a specific focus on increasing public awareness of the funding model that supports the work of recognised biosecurity groups, including the context for landholders receiving the Declared Pest Rate and what it is used for.