Western Australia Minister for Agriculture and Food Terry Redman
Biosecurity Funding Scheme Roll-Out
Victor P Taffa
The State Government has moved to counter biosecurity threats by introducing funding schemes for West Australian cattle producers and grain growers.
Agriculture and Food Minister Terry Redman said today the Industry Funding Schemes enabled producers to raise funds to respond to priority pest and disease threats.
The schemes, under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007, aimed to help industry fight biosecurity threats, which primarily impacted on their sector but were not covered under national arrangements.
“These new schemes represent a fundamental shift in the way the State approaches biosecurity.” Mr. Redman said.
“The State’s farmers are now in control of their own destiny when it comes to managing key pests and diseases. They can decide what established pests and diseases need to be tackled and have a mechanism in place to raise the funds to tackle them.”
“This will allow the Government to focus on other priority areas, including preventing other pests and diseases entering WA by maintaining monitoring and surveillance at ports, airports and the border.” Mr. Redman said.
“These schemes have been a long time coming. The Liberal-National Government set a deadline of July to have the schemes in place, and I’m very pleased that after a lot of hard work and consultation with industry the deadline has been met.”
Three Industry Management Committees (IMCs) for cattle; grains/seeds/hay; and sheep and goats, determine priority pests or diseases and the required funding arrangements.
The Cattle IMC has determined producers pay a 20 cent contribution on cattle/carcasses sold within the State in 2010-11, with the proceeds being used to fund modest surveillance programs for bovine Johne’s disease (BJD) and enzootic bovine leucosis (EBL).
“This new charge will fully replace the transaction charge producers have traditionally paid to the Cattle Industry Compensation Fund.” the Minister said.
The Grains/Seed/Hay IMC has determined a 30 cent contribution will apply on first sale of every tonne of grain and seed within the South West Land Division of WA in 2010-11, to fund continuing programs for the control of skeleton weed and the eradication of three-horned bedstraw.
“This new charge will fully replace the contribution producers have traditionally paid to the Skeleton Weed Trust Fund.” Mr. Redman said.
The Grains/Seed/Hay IMC has also determined that no contribution will apply to hay produced this financial year. However, it intends to consult further with the hay industry throughout the coming year, to determine details of a charge on its production in 2011-12.
The Sheep & Goats IMC is still considering a recommendation that it introduce a 10 cent contribution on all sheep and goats/carcasses sold within the South West Land Division in 2010-11, in order to fund a relatively modest program to control virulent footrot. The committee is meeting again on July 19 to further consider the matter.
Producers who wish to opt-out of the Industry Funding Schemes in 2010-11 must have notified the director general of the Department of Agriculture and Food in writing by July 31 at latest.
“Producers need to be aware that opting out of the schemes does not absolve them of responsibility for addressing biosecurity issues on their property.” the Minister said.
“Opting out will mean producers have to deal with biosecurity issues wholly at their own expense, and they will need to contribute to the schemes for two consecutive years after opting out, before they can regain eligibility for any scheme assistance.”