Government unveils $2 million biosecurity funding boost

The Tasmanian Government used Agfest to unveil $2 million in extra biosecurity funding to help the state’s agriculture sector.

An extra $2 million in funding for Biosecurity Tasmania was announced this morning by Primary Industries Minister Jeremy Rockliff.

Mr Rockliff said the funding, to be used on weed management, was vital to protect the State’s clean, natural image.

“We have to ensure we increase our resources on the ground, working with farmers, working with Landcare groups and working with local councils to tackle this very serious issue,” he said. “The visible increase in weeds in Tasmania poses a direct threat to farmer’s profits and to agricultural productivity.”

The new funding adds to the existing $20 million biosecurity budget, which he said was warranted.

“We know that with the increasing number of tourists and visitors coming to Tasmania, so does the biosecurity risk,” he said.

State Opposition leader Rebecca White said one of Tasmania’s great strengths is strong biosecurity, but criticised the Government’s approach.

“Unfortunately, this government has cut funding to biosecurity since they came to power in 2014 and we’ve seen that impact,” she said.

“We’ve had incursions in myrtle rust and blueberry rust, and detector dogs have failed to be provided in airports during busy periods, especially Easter.”

“It is important that any funding coming to the sector is ongoing, and that it not just plug the holes the government made previously.”

This article was for written for Agfest News in a mobile newsroom on-site in Carrick. The article is available here: https://www.agfest.com.au/news/2017/05/05/government-unveils-$2-million-biosecurity-funding-boost/

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