17 June 2024

$946 million announced for agriculture protection across NSW

| Jarryd Rowley
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More than $946 million has been allocated by the NSW Government to protect agriculture communities from biosecurity threats.

More than $946 million has been allocated by the NSW Government to protect agriculture communities from biosecurity threats. Photo: File.

NSW’s regional agricultural industry will soon see the benefits of a $945.7 million investment from the State Government to protect it from biosecurity threats.

The funding has been allocated following the successful Feral Pig Program which began in the latter half of 2023.

The program has resulted in a significant reduction in the number of pigs causing damage to pastoral land and crops and spreading diseases that could potentially impact livestock and native animals.

The State Government said that since October 2023, more than 100,000 pigs had been culled and 5400 property participants had taken part in aerial and ground control programs.

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In addition to this, the NSW Government’s biosecurity program includes significant investments in responses to major threats to the state’s agricultural industry, including:

  • $55.3 million for the eradication of red imported fire ants.
  • $36.2 million to increase the resilience and capacity of beekeepers, and other industries to manage varroa mite.
  • $25 million to support specialist scientific skills to boost the state’s frontline surveillance and preventative capabilities to defend against biosecurity risks.
  • $6.2 million to target white spot disease, supporting prawn fishers, farmers and businesses.
  • $5.8 million to continue implementing the Good Neighbour Program to tackle weed and pest infestations between neighbouring public and private lands.

Biosecurity has also been cited as a major focus for the 2024/25 NSW Budget with:

  • $217.2 million allocated for a biosecurity commissioner, the preparation of future biosecurity threat prevention measures including Weeds Action Plans and the Bio Lab Defence.
  • $250.9 million allocated to invest in major biosecurity programs covering active surveillance, rapid diagnostics, traceability investigations and responses for varroa mite, white spot and red imported fire ant threats.
  • $62.4 million allocated to contain pests, weeds, and disease outbreaks to minimise adverse impacts on primary industries and the environment, including the Sheep and Goat eID program to enable tracking and identification during any outbreaks.
  • $415.1 million allocated to address existing plant, animal and invasive biosecurity threats including $13.1m for feral pigs in 2024-25; the Good Neighbour program; the independent agriculture commissioner; plus, emergency management capability in response to natural disasters.

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NSW Minister for Agriculture Tara Moriarty said the $945 million investment in biosecurity over the next four years would ensure the state’s primary producers continued to thrive safely.

“Strong biosecurity protections are not just about keeping pests and weeds out – it is about protecting the state’s $22 billion agriculture industries and ensuring families across the state have access to the world’s best produce at the world’s best prices,” she said.

“We have been busy implementing our comprehensive biosecurity plan, from feral pig management to tackling weeds and pests on public lands and fighting the threat of red fire ants.

“Biosecurity is an ongoing challenge, but we are a government who are committed to prioritising the wellbeing of our farmers, regional communities and environments.

“The success of the Feral Pig Program speaks for itself, but there’s still more to do, which this essential funding will enable.”

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Just as they have with the Federal Labor’s repairing trade relations with China and enabling them to sell to China again, after the LNP destroyed the markets, farmers will accept all this aid from the State Labor Government, while saying they can never trust Labor, and continue to vote for the less than bright Nationals and rural Liberals, who are only interested in helping big mining.
Voting against their own interests, again and again.

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