$100 million for pest and weed management and eradication under Ag White Paper
5 July 2015
Through the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, the Australian Government will invest $100 million to protect our agricultural industries from the impacts of pests, disease and weeds, and to more effectively manage established pest animals and weeds.
Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said the new funding would support pest and disease eradication and management programmes, as well as enhancing emergency response capability.
"Our farmers contributed about $51 billion to our nation's economy in 2013–14, including $41 billion in agricultural exports," Minister Joyce said.
"Protecting our agricultural industries from the impacts of pests, disease and weeds is vital to enhancing productivity and profitability.
"Our enviable pest and disease status also underpins our reputation as a reliable supplier of clean and green world-class agricultural produce—which is one of our key competitive advantages in international markets.
"From 1 July, 2015, an additional $50 million over four years will support eradication programmes for exotic pest and disease incursions and to enhance emergency response capability.
"When it comes to containment and eradication of exotic pest and disease incursions, success hinges on the speed and effectiveness of the response.
"This is why we are providing $8 million to establish the Immediate Assistance Fund to support access to, and deployment of, national and international experts and specialised equipment required for pest and disease eradication.
"We will also be investing $50 million over four years to better manage established pest animals and weeds, including wild dogs. We've heard through the white paper process that farmers need help to reduce the impacts of pest animals and weeds on agricultural production.
"This measure will help develop and promote better technologies and tools—including chemical and biological controls—to tackle priority species.
"The measure will also provide support to those industries and farming communities that take the lead in managing established pest animals and weeds of national significance."
The Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper delivers $4 billion in measures to strengthen Australia's agriculture sector and the returns it delivers to the national economy.
The White Paper was informed by comprehensive stakeholder consultation—more than 1000 submissions were received and the government talked face-to-face with more than 1100 people across the country in developing this document. The White Paper is available at agwhitepaper.agriculture.gov.au.