The Queensland Government has moved to protect jobs in Far North Queensland’s agricultural sector by boosting funding to efforts to eradicate exotic fruit fly in the region.
The State Budget included a funding injection of another $1.642 million for the ongoing eradication program in the Torres Strait.
Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said this was a vital project to help horticultural industry to grow in the Far North.
“These industries are an important employment provider in the Torres Strait so tackling biosecurity threats is a vital part of protecting jobs,” Ms Lui said.
“We have a great future in horticulture in the Torres Strait and the rest of Far North Queensland, and growers and supporting industries need to know we take the threat of pests seriously.”
Member for Cairns Michael Healy said the broader region would also benefit from the effort to eradicate exotic fruit fly.
“Agricultural production is important to our entire region, and a big part of our future success is maintaining our reputation for clean, green produce,” Mr healy said.
“Queensland gets about twice the number of biosecurity incursions as any other Australian state, so programs like this one are vital as we continue to grow jobs in the sector.”
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said a recent meeting of the National Management Group agreed that the Response Plan was technically feasible and cost beneficial.
“Under national cost share arrangements, this funding will allow us to continue the eradication program through to mid 2021,” Mr Furner said.
“The Response Plan targets three species of fruit fly which could cause significant damage to our horticulture industries if they became established here.
“The continuation of the program is a great example of organisations working together to protect industry and our economy.”
Biosecurity Queensland leads the national response, with operational and technical support from the Commonwealth Government, Department of Agriculture.
For more information about exotic fruit fly surveillance, visit daf.qld.gov.au.
Media contact: Ron Goodman 0427 781 920