The Queensland Government is funding a new $300,000 industry grants package to assist commercial, charter and aquaculture fisheries businesses affected by coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the second round of Market Diversification and Resilience Grants program recognises the severe impact of coronavirus restrictions on Queensland’s fishing industry.
“Like other economies around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic hit Queensland businesses hard,” Mr Furner said.
“We are continuing to manage the health response well and that means we can start to deliver Queensland’s plan for economic recovery.
“Commercial fishers and aquaculture businesses have lost significant markets both here in Australia and overseas, while charter operators were forced to close due to social distancing rules.”
Mr Furner said the priority for the new grants will be fisheries businesses directly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic who can increase their resilience by diversifying into new markets, contributing to regional economic growth and jobs.
“Grants of up to $7,500 are available for things like equipment purchases, staff training, marketing and promotion, with the successful applicants to contribute at least 25 per cent of the project’s total cost,” Mr Furner said.
The Market Diversification and Resilience Grants are part of the Queensland Government’s $27.25 million coronavirus industry recovery package.
Mr Furner urged the commercial, aquaculture and charter fishing sector to ‘hook into’ the program when round two applications open on 30 July.
“An overwhelming number of fisheries businesses applied for round one of these grants but weren’t eligible because they don’t supply export markets,” he said.
“The Palaszczuk Government has listened to feedback about the eligibility criteria and responded by providing the new funding package especially for the fishing industry.”
The first round of the Market Diversification and Resilience Grants program was supported with $500,000 of funding and attracted a very high level of interest from agriculture, food and fishing exporters.
Applications will close on Friday 28 August 2020.
Fisheries businesses who would like information can call the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries on 13 25 23 or visit www.daf.qld.gov.au