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14 June 2018


Minister for Primary Industries and Water

Taking biosecurity to the next level to protect and grow our agriculture industry

Additional funding of $8.6 million over 4 years to strengthen Tasmania’s biosecurity will be provided in the 2018-19 State Budget to help protect and grow the State’s agriculture industry and deliver on our plan to create jobs in regional Tasmania and grow the State’s economy.

The Hodgman Liberal Government has consistently delivered additional funding for biosecurity over the past 4 budgets and we are making a significant investment again in 2018-19 and beyond as part of taking agriculture to the next level.

Biosecurity is vitally important for protecting Tasmania’s reputation for quality primary produce and our natural environment and our relative pest and disease free status is a competitive advantage for our farmers in the market-place.

The Tasmanian Government is committed to ensuring Tasmania’s biosecurity system continues to respond to the modern risks and challenges of increased trade, to ensure Tasmania’s place in a global market-place and to manage more visitors coming to our island home.

Biosecurity investment in the 2018-19 State Budget includes:

  • $2 million over 4 years for truck and machinery wash down stations.  Partnering with farmers, agribusiness and local government this funding will build a network of wash-down stations to improve biosecurity and farm hygiene, by disposing of waste, reduce potential spread of disease and weeds and improve road safety.
  • $510,000 over 4 years to expand Biosecurity Tasmania’s collaboration with industry groups and farmers to plan for and manage post-border biosecurity risks and to support on-farm biosecurity hygiene strategies.
  • $480,000 over 4 years to boost biosecurity on the Bass Strait Islands. King Island and Flinders Island are gateways to Tasmania and additional biosecurity resources on each Island will support landholders to tackle weeds, pests and other issues affecting agricultural production and other local biosecurity priorities.

The Budget also confirms an expenditure of $5.6 million over 4 years from the new $20 million Biosecurity Emergency Response and Research Fund to meet the costs associated with the current eradication program for Queensland Fruit Fly and future biosecurity risks.

The Fund includes:

  • Three additional biosecurity inspectors to target high risk produce coming into the State as well as a new Specialist Fruit Fly Adviser in Biosecurity Tasmania.
  • A new Industry Collaboration role in Biosecurity Tasmania to work with growers, farmers, industry groups and the wider Tasmanian community on communications, consultation and education programs to prepare and respond to fruit fly, other potential trade-related pests and improved biosecurity generally.
  • Recurrent funding to participate in the fruit fly SITPlus program led by Horticulture Innovation Australia and ensure that Tasmania has access to Sterile Insect Techniques (SIT) should it be required.
  • Support for the growers’ assistance program beyond the $2 million already committed if required.

The Hodgman Liberal Government remains committed to working closely with all primary industry stakeholders to identify further opportunities to maintain our State’s strong biosecurity system and to prepare and protect Tasmania from future pest and disease risks.