Working together to protect and grow the ag sector on National Agriculture Day

This National Agriculture Day we are celebrating collaboration within Australia and with our neighbours to protect and grow our agriculture sector.

Ahead of his address to the Queensland Rural Press Club this afternoon, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Murray Watt said the government was committed to a holistic approach to support industry’s goal of an $100 billion industry by 2030.

“Today we are celebrating our world class agriculture industry and all of the industries and people who make this possible,” Minister Watt said.

“Our role as a government is to ensure that not only we continue to protect this industry, but to grow it as well.

“And while the gaze of the mainstream may have wandered from the threat of exotic animal diseases like FMD and LSD, our focus on keeping them out of Australia has sharpened.

“Today I am announcing new grants awarded to Meat & Livestock Australia and LiveCorp which will support Indonesia’s biosecurity response to foot and mouth disease and lumpy skin disease.”

Minister Watt said the Albanese Government will provide more than $1.22 million to LiveCorp for a livestock export industry FMD and LSD vaccine support and implementation program, and an additional $550,000 to MLA for an Indonesia Biosecurity Support Project.

“The first six to twelve months of the MLA project will include an in-country risk assessment and mitigation plan, development of feedlot manuals, and training delivery on biosecurity and emergency response in Indonesia,” he said.

“The MLA project is already underway, with industry contributing $1 million to this $2.1 million project.

“The LiveCorp project will partially reimburse the cost of FMD and LSD vaccine programs used for buffer zone vaccination, focusing on encouraging vaccination of susceptible species surrounding feedlots and facilities across Indonesia and supporting the welfare of smallholders within these communities.

“It will leverage livestock export industry networks to distribute FMD and LSD vaccines effectively across Indonesia.”

Minister Watt said it was important to remember Australia remains free from both FMD and LSD and it is critical that we continue to protect our animal health status by working together with other countries.

“Our strong relationship with our neighbouring countries is also helping us to continue to safeguard our agriculture sector and the industries on which it relies.

“The Australian Government’s October Budget includes a $134 million down-payment on our commitment to long-term, sustainable funding for biosecurity, by investing in front line staff, 20 new detector dogs and stronger defences against the threat of FMD and other diseases.

“Our farmers, farm workers and food processors need the tools to thrive and be resilient into the future so they can continue to produce the best food and fibre in the world.

“We are committed to providing support and protection for the agriculture sector to give our farmers and rural communities the means to grow.”