18 June, 2023

Bolstered biosecurity and drought resilience focus of ag budget

THE State Government has delivered another budget for agriculture and fisheries that strengthens Queensland’s biosecurity, protects our sustainable fisheries, and creates more good jobs for Queenslanders.

Bolstered biosecurity and drought resilience focus of ag budget - feature photo

The budget includes further funding to help primary producers prepare for drought under the Drought Assistance and Reform Package, with up to $48.5 million over 3 years to be invested in programs and grants, and $100 million over 2 years allocated for loans.

Biosecurity remains a key priority, with more than $21.7 million to be invested over 5 years, and $2.8 million each year thereafter, for action against current and emerging plant pests and diseases.

This is in addition to $22 million over 5 years and $2.5 million each year thereafter already announced to address increasing animal biosecurity risks.

The State Government has created 15 new permanent jobs within Biosecurity Queensland to identify and manage biosecurity threats, protecting our state’s food and fibre.

The budget supports continued implementation of the Queensland Low Emissions Agriculture Roadmap 2022-2032, assisting primary producers and agribusinesses across the supply chain to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Increased funding of $11.7 million over 3 years will continue the implementation of the Sustainable Fisheries Strategy 2017-2027, protecting Queensland fisheries so they can be enjoyed now and into the future.

The highly successful Rural Economic Development (RED) Grants program will continue, with $3.3 million committed for the future.

So far the State Government has helped strengthen primary production sectors and supported rural communities through $12 million in co-contribution RED Grants, supporting the creation of more than 2,500 good jobs for Queenslanders.

The safety of people enjoying Queensland beaches remains paramount, with increased funding of $9.2 million committed over 5 years and $3 million per annum ongoing to the Shark Control Program.

This investment will include further research into how best to keep swimmers safe while protecting the welfare of marine life, with technology trials such as the use of drones continuing.

Almost $61 million over 4 years will be invested in ensuring Queensland is playing its role in the continued delivery of the critical National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program.

Vital action in the treatment of fire ants meant funding was brought forward to previous budgets, and further discussions are continuing with national cost-share partners regarding ongoing funding for the eradication.

“We have had significant rainfall in the past few years, but with drier conditions on the horizon we are investing heavily through the budget in ensuring primary producers and the agriculture supply chain are drought resilient.

“The State Government is doing the heavy lifting on biosecurity to ensure we protect our crops, livestock, environment and jobs in the agriculture sector.

“We’re investing heavily in supporting the National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program and boosting job numbers on the front lines of protecting biosecurity.

“We’re continuing to protect Queensland from pests and disease with another massive investment.

“The Palaszczuk Government is continuing our strong investment in rural and regional Queensland, with the RED Grants program to return once more to help primary producers and agribusinesses invest in their futures.”


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