Kim Chance

Kim Chance

Minister for Agriculture and Food; Forestry; the Mid West and Wheatbelt; Great Southern

    State Budget supports biosecurity measures

    30/05/2005 12:00 AM

    The State Government has committed $40.8million in the State Budget to protect and enhance Western Australian agriculture through its funding of biosecurity measures.

    This represents an increased allocation of about $1million for improved animal disease risk mitigation and pest management in the rangelands.

    Agriculture Minister Kim Chance said funding to the agriculture sector would continue to focus on minimising the impact of pests, diseases and weeds on agricultural productivity and market access.

    Mr Chance said biosecurity efforts would also ensure the sustainability of natural resources and minimise risks for pests that impact on the general community.

    “Biosecurity reduces the risk of entry, establishment, spread and impact of a wide range of serious animal and plant pests and diseases, as well as weeds,” he said.

    “The State Budget allocation for biosecurity will deliver State-wide benefits from quarantine, surveillance, diagnosis, regulations, control and research programs.

    “It is an example of the Gallop Government’s commitment to protecting WA’s unique environment.”

    Major funding initiatives for a range of biosecurity activities in 2005-06 include.
    • $1.4million for animal health diagnostic services;
    • $800,000 for import risk assessments, develop industry, biosecurity strategies and regulatory systems;
    • $600,000 for animal biosecurity as part of a commitment of $4.4million over the next four years. Funding increases to $2million per annum by 2007-08;
    • $650,000 for plant pathology and entomology diagnostic services;
    • $600,000 for emergency animal disease preparedness and response; and
    • $360,000 for animal pest research.
    The Minister said the agri-food industry was the second largest export sector and was increasingly able to capitalise on the State's favourable biosecurity status.

    The Department of Agriculture's WA Quarantine and Inspection Service (WAQIS) has $3.6million to provide highly valuable quarantine services for the world's longest domestic border, delivering industry, environmental and community benefits.

    The department's State-wide network of biosecurity officers and risk assessment diagnostic and research teams will continue to provide internationally recognised service delivery.

    Mr Chance said the State Government's Budget commitment included national participation in Animal Health Australia, Plant Health Australia and four national biosecurity-focused co-operative research centres - Australia Biosecurity, National Plant Biosecurity, Invasive Animals and Australian Weed Management.

    Biosecurity funding is also made available to the department from the Australian Government and research corporations.

    The Minister said biosecurity was very much a partnership between Government and industry. This would continue with the planning, co-ordination and delivery of management programs for established pests and the GrainGuard, StockGuard, HortGuard and BeeGuard groups, rangelands Zone Control Authorities and specific committees such as that for the Skeleton Weed Program.

    “In addition to limiting and managing biosecurity risks, the department will proactively promote WA produce to the world by capitalising on the State's favourable biosecurity status,” Mr Chance said.

    “Implementation of the European house borer program, funded for $7.6million from 2004-05, will continue with $4million allocated for 2005-06. A $0.97million payment will also be made toward the Government's $8.4million commitment over six years toward eradication of the serious social and environmental pest Red Imported Fire Ants (RIFA) in Queensland.”

    Minister's office: 9213 6700