Biosecurity boost for Gladstone during ministerial visit
MINISTER for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud has marked his first visit to Gladstone with the announcement of $313million in biosecurity funding.
Set to be rolled out over four years, the announcement made at Central Queensland University strengthens the future of Australia's $60-billion agricultural industry.
Mr Littleproud said it was important to combat marine pests, championing the work being carried out at CQU.
"We've invested... to keep our agricultural production safe and make sure we don't have incursions that will cost our economy and farmers' livelihoods,” he said.
"We're also going to be leveraging work that Central Queensland Uni have done here, with the second largest specimen sample in the country.
"We've kept a $35-million fund for the incursions if and when they come to make sure we can act quickly and leverage the work CQU have done to make sure we can eradicate those pests.”
It is an announcement that has been welcomed by Central Queensland University.
Professor Owen Nevin, Associate Vice Chancellor for CQU in the Gladstone region, said it was important for regional areas such as Gladstone to stay on top of marine pests.
"With invasive species the monitoring is important, the eradication is important and the new technologies and new approaches is important,” he said.
"Gladstone is a really diverse region and has a lot of biodiversity with the monitoring done to date showing we are not seeing invasives at this point in our marine environment to the extent that has occurred in other places.”