Far northern biosecurity strategy boosted by $1.7 million

The Palaszczuk Government has announced a $1.7 million funding injection to improve the management of biosecurity risks in the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area of Queensland.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said $1.733 million had been allocated over three years for the Far Northern Biosecurity Initiative.

“Biosecurity Queensland’s Far Northern Biosecurity Initiative includes a range of measures to address specific biosecurity issues relevant to Cape York and the Torres Strait,” Mr Furner said.

“Employment opportunities, traineeships, more operating hours for the Cape York Biosecurity Centre at Coen, developing culturally appropriate education materials and improvements to how Biosecurity Queensland engages with local communities are core components.

“The Far Northern Biosecurity Initiative will deliver a contemporary biosecurity service in accordance with the expectations of regional stakeholders.”

Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said the initiative would complement and build on the great work already done to develop the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area Regional Biosecurity Strategy.

“The Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Biosecurity Strategy recognises that countries to Australia’s north have a range of pests, diseases, weeds and invasive animals that are not present in Australia,” Ms Lui said.

“Local stakeholders have worked together to develop the strategy which outlines how all regional stakeholders can better manage those biosecurity threats which can have a significant impact on agricultural productivity and trade, human and animal health and may damage our environment and way of life.”

Mr Furner said the strategy is the result of the hard work of a Biosecurity Working Group established in 2016.

The group includes representatives from the Torres Shire Council, Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council, Torres Strait Regional Authority and Torres Strait Island Regional Council and State and Federal Government agencies.

“The working group and a Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Biosecurity Executive Group were established in recognition of those biosecurity threats and the need to manage them in partnership with local people and many different regional stakeholders,” Mr Furner said.

“The Far Northern Biosecurity Initiative will reinforce the importance of the strategy to the region and highlight the benefit it provides in mitigating biosecurity risks to all of Australia.”

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