Managing water and farm pests important drought support measures
3 June 2014
Joint media release
The Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP, Minister for Agriculture
The Hon. John McVeigh MP, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
The Queensland share of the Australian Government's $10 million pledge to help drought-affected farmers reduce the impact pest and feral animals has on their properties is now available following the signing of a project agreement.
Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said $3.5 million for managing pests in 2013-14 was now signed off, along with $6 million for water infrastructure funding for Queensland in 2014-15.
“Drought support delivered direct to our farmers in the form of income support and concessional loans is critically important to help farm businesses manage a bad spell,” Minister Joyce said.
“What we can’t afford to do is to let our main asset – our farm land – degrade as farmers have to prioritise their finite funds on more immediate needs.
“Both of the programmes funded today will help. During drought, pest and feral animals add further pressure to pastures and groundcover at a time when feed is critical for livestock.
“The funding to manage animal pests is designed to help maintain groundcover as well as to help manage the impacts that predators, such as wild dogs, feral pigs and foxes, have on stock concentrated around fewer watering points.
“This funding will now flow to the Queensland government so it can build on existing pest management programmes.”
Minister Joyce said another key component of the package was funding for water infrastructure to help manage emergency animal welfare issues.
“We are making $6 million available in 2014-15 to Queensland for emergency water infrastructure rebates – topping up the amount farmers can receive from 50 per cent of the purchase costs to 75 per cent.
“Importantly, farmers who’ve made eligible purchases in 2013-14 may still be eligible for a rebate of up to $50,000.
“That is on top of our $10 million investment in Queensland and NSW government schemes in 2013-14,” Minister Joyce said.
Queensland Minister for Agriculture John McVeigh welcomed the package.
“It’s vital to get the money flowing to these programmes as soon as possible.
“Wild dogs continue to be number one pest animal across drought-affected Queensland and we need to ensure we achieve the maximum efficiencies in all our programmes to fight pest animals.”
More information on assistance available to farmers is available at daff.gov.au/assistance.