The waiving of apiary permit fees for the beekeeping industry will be extended for the rest of this financial year.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said like most industries, beekeeping had been hit hard by the ongoing drought and the fires in late 2019-early 2020.
“As well as producing honey, beekeepers provide pollination services that are critical to Queensland’s horticulture industry,” Mr Furner said.
“We need a thriving and viable honey bee sector, which pollinates avocados, macadamias, blueberries and melons crops worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
“The difficult conditions caused by drought and the bushfires have forced many of our apiarists to take on pollination services in southern states to supplement their income, a strategy which has not been easy due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Mr Furner said economies across the nation and the world had been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Palaszczuk Government has moved to ensure important support for the agriculture industry, including specific support for beekeepers.
“Queensland’s honey production was down 30% last year and could fall even further this year, so these fee waivers should provide some much-needed relief,” Mr Furner said.
“We’re continuing to support them as we implement Queensland’s $8 billion plan for economic recovery.”
The fee waivers and refunds apply to all apiary permits issued by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF), the Department of Environment and Science (DES) and HQPlantations Pty Ltd, effective from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021.
Where permits cover a part of this period, the waiver or refund amount will be determined on a monthly pro-rata basis of the applicable fee.
Permit holders will not need to make a special application to receive the waiver or refund.