Tasmanian Country - - FRONT PAGE - ROGER HAN­SON

TAS­MA­NIA’S agri­food sec­tor, re­search, new live­stock of­fi­cers and a dairy pi­lot scheme were all winners in yes­ter­day’s State Bud­get.

Pri­mary In­dus­tries and Wa­ter Min­is­ter Jeremy Rock­liff has re­sponded to farm­ers’ de­mands for the Bud­get to re­flect the im­por­tance of agri­cul­ture in the econ­omy and money for skills path­ways to help fu­ture work­ers.

Mr Rock­liff said the Gov­ern­ment was work­ing in part­ner­ship with farm­ers and pri­mary in­dus­try groups to build Tas­ma­nia’s fu­ture.

The Bud­get al­lowed more than $5.6 mil­lion to boost biose­cu­rity, in­clud­ing $1.54 mil­lion to sup­port an­i­mal wel­fare, biose­cu­rity and live­stock pro­duc­tiv­ity through new live­stock of­fi­cers within the de­part­ment for pro­duc­tion an­i­mals and in­creased sup­port for RSPCA in­spec­torate ser­vices to fo­cus on the wel­fare of do­mes­tic an­i­mals.

The Bud­get in­cludes a $632,000 boost for sea­sonal biose­cu­rity front­line ser­vices to cater for peak times, $1.44 mil­lion for a new cat man­age­ment plan and $2 mil­lion to im­prove the man­age­ment of weeds, ver­te­brate pests and in­va­sive species and other risks to an­i­mal and plant in­dus­tries.

Mr Rock­liff said the ini­tia­tives were on top of the dou­bling of biose­cu­rity de­tec­tor dogs to 12 teams, con­struct­ing the Powranna Truck­wash, new signs at bor­der en­try points and $1.2 mil­lion to up­grade test­ing at An­a­lyt­i­cal Ser­vices Tas­ma­nia in Ho­bart.

A strate­gic in­dus­try part­ner­ships pro­gram gets $1.2 mil­lion to co-in­vest with in­dus­try peak bod­ies and or­gan­i­sa­tions to sup­port growth and pros­per­ity in agri­food sec­tors.

The Bee In­dus­try Fu­tures Re­port gets $30,000 to guide in­dus­try de­vel­op­ment, pol­li­na­tion ser­vices and sus­tain­able ac­cess to leather­wood within World Her­itage ar­eas.

There is $2 mil­lion more for agri­cul­tural land­scape re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion through on-farm land­care works in part­ner­ship with Nat­u­ral Re­source Man­age­ment groups to re­pair and re­ha­bil­i­tate rivers and streams.

Re­search gets a top-up. The Tas­ma­nian In­sti­tute of Agri­cul­ture gets $20 mil­lion to con­tinue its world-class work in agri­cul­tural re­search, de­vel­op­ment and ex­ten­sion.

The dairy in­dus­try stock un­der­pass pi­lot pro­gram re­ceives $750,000 to off­set the costs as­so­ci­ated with es­tab­lish­ing stock un­der­pass in­fra­struc­ture and im­prov­ing farm and road safety.

Tas­ma­nian Farm­ers and Gra­ziers As­so­ci­a­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Peter Skillern said the state’s farm­ers had been calling for a sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment in brand­ing Tas­ma­nian agri­cul­ture and the $500,000 in­jec­tion in Tas­ma­nia’s brand to dif­fer­en­ti­ate and mar­ket Tas­ma­nia would make some head­way.

The Safe Farm­ing Tas­ma­nia pro­gram gets $600,000 to con­tinue its role of chang­ing the cul­ture on the farm to im­prove worker safety.

A $14.3 mil­lion in­vest­ment is be­ing made in pro­tect­ing and grow­ing fish­eries.

The money will be used to pro­tect aquatic health and the rep­u­ta­tion for qual­ity prod­ucts, help the shell­fish aqua­cul­ture in­dus­try ad­just to the im­pact of Pa­cific oys­ter mor­tal­ity syn­drome, and sup­port marine re­cre­ation.

Pri­mary In­dus­tries and Wa­ter Min­is­ter Jeremy Rock­liff.

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