‘Its starts on the farm’: $20 million boost for on-farm biosecurity and traceability systems

Staff ReporterCountryman
Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud.
Tori O'Connor
Camera IconFederal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud. Tori O'Connor Credit: Tori O'Connor/Kalgoorlie Miner

The WA Government will work with the Federal Government to deliver boost on-farm biosecurity and traceability systems after the Commonwealth announced a $20 million investment in helping producers address biosecurity risks.

The biosecurity boon will be delivered over three years, with producers able to apply for grants co-funded by the State Government for activities improving on-ground biosecurity or enhancing livestock and agricultural product traceability within Australia.

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said sound traceability and biosecurity started on the farm and was “foundational” to Australia’s national biosecurity.

“Effective on-farm biosecurity practices and the ability to trace agricultural products is critical to protecting farm gate returns and supporting new and continued access to export markets,” he said.

The funding will be delivered in up to three rounds of grants, which will be allocated to activities that will support industry and producers to prepare for, mitigate against and respond to biosecurity risks.

“These grants will be delivered in partnership with interested State and territory governments, so they will be able to tackle the issues of greatest importance in their respective jurisdictions,” Mr Littelproud said.

WA Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the State welcomed any additional funding into biosecurity and traceability.

“Last year our government injected an additional $15 million to boost our State’s biosecurity capabilities, and just last week we opened a new traceability grants program to reinforce existing industry systems,” she said.

“We will work with the Commonwealth to determine how we can further strengthen this work through the program.”

Mr Littelproud called biosecurity a “key pillar” of the industry’s $100 billion by 2030 goal and the new program was a “great opportunity” for producers to uplift their biosecurity efforts.

“Our ability to trace livestock and agricultural products quickly and effectively is fundamental to robust biosecurity and food safety systems, as well as critical to our agricultural export certification process,” he said.

The grants will be delivered in 2022-23, with guidelines for eligible activities under development.

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