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$20 million biosecurity boost for Tasmanian agriculture

The Australian Government has announced a funding boost to Tasmania’s biosecurity.

Senator for Tasmania Richard Colbeck said - "In recognition of the importance of Tasmania’s agriculture sector and the increasing risks to our island’s unique relative pest and disease free status from increased economic activity and booming tourist numbers, the Federal Government will provide $20 million.”  

“The funding will be used to establish a Biosecurity Emergency Response and Research Fund to immediately help meet the cost of the current fruit fly eradication program and to assist with understanding future biosecurity and disease risks in order to maintain the state’s Pest Free Area status.” 

The boosted response will include:

* Increased inspection services aimed specifically at combatting Queensland Fruit Fly which complement existing support activities;

* Improved industry advice and community engagement and communications to help eradicate fruit fly and minimise the impacts;

* Funding to enable a line of sterile adult flies to be made available on demand to Tasmania, if required;

* Support for the Grower Assistance Package above and beyond the $2 million already committed.

Tasmanian Minister for Primary Industries, Sarah Courtney, said the funding was a further sign of the benefits of State and Federal governments working cooperatively for the benefit of the State.  “Since coming to Government in 2014 we have increased biosecurity funding and employed more biosecurity staff, and I am sure this massive additional funding injection will be welcomed by all.”

Ms Courtney said that the current Fruit Fly Eradication Program is achieving promising results with no new flies or larvae trapped since April 2, 2018.

"DPIPWE is managing the whole-of-Government response in accordance with international and national biosecurity response standards. A State Coordination Centre has been established at Mount Pleasant in Launceston and Local Control Centres at Flinders Island, Stoney Rise and George Town," the Minister said. 

"The State Government policy - 'Maintaining Tasmania’s Freedom from Fruit Fly – a strategy for the future 2017-2050', outlines the importance of Tasmania’s fruit fly free status and made a commitment to actions to assess risk areas in Tasmania’s fruit fly management strategy until the year 2050.’’ 

(From joint Australian and Tasmanian Government media release - 5 May 2018)