20 February, 2015
Farmers in Western Australia are set to benefit from an additional $250,000 in Australian Government funding to support the management of pest animals--pests that add further pressure to pastures and groundcover during periods of drought.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, announced the additional funding today in Perth, where he also addressed delegates at the WAFarmers annual conference.
Senator Colbeck said the programme will be administered by the WA Government and delivered by the Carnarvon Rangelands Biosecurity Association.
"The impacts of pest animals, such as stock predation and increased grazing pressure, are felt even more keenly during periods of drought, and can also slow recovery from drought. This funding will support eligible pastoral and farm businesses to undertake pest management activities to reduce these impacts," Senator Colbeck said.
Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said that although the Coalition had turned around the price of sheep and cattle and seen record livestock exports, there were still people doing it incredibly tough with the drought and the added pressures of pest incursions.
"I want to be part of a government that delivers real assistance to those in need and am proud that this funding is just one element of the Australian Government's support for WA farmers, farm businesses and rural communities feeling the impacts of drought.
"This latest funding is in addition to the $70 million in support the Australian Government has already made available in 2013-14 and 2014-15 to WA farm businesses through the Drought and Farm Finance concessional loans schemes," Minister Joyce said.
"In addition to these measures, there is a range of other assistance available to farmers and rural communities doing it tough, including income support through the Farm Household Allowance and free financial counselling through the Rural Financial Counselling Service.
"I strongly encourage farmers not to self-assess their eligibility for any of these assistance measures but to talk to the experts and find out more about their options," Minister Joyce said.
Farmers thinking about applying for a Farm Finance Concessional Loan are encouraged to act now as the application period for that loans scheme closes on 30 April 2015.
Senator Colbeck today spoke at the WAFarmers National Conference on the future of agriculture, including innovation young people agriculture, and the Australian Government's achievements and priorities for the sector.
Details about the new pest management funding in WA, including project activities, will be determined through the Carnarvon Rangelands Biosecurity Association and the Western Australian Government shortly.
For more information on the range of Australian Government assistance for farmers, farm businesses and rural communities, visit agriculture.gov.au/assistance