NSW Budget: $946 Million For Biosecurity Protection

NSW Gov

The Minns Labor Government is continuing to support regional communities and our state’s agricultural industry with a $945.7 million investment to continue the critical role of prevention and protection against biosecurity threats.

This includes an additional $13.1 million in the 2024-25 Budget to build on the success of the Feral Pig Program, which has controlled more than 100,000 pigs since it began eight months ago.

Feral pigs cause significant damage to pastoral land and crops, and carry diseases that can impact livestock and native animals.

This new funding will ensure there is a concerted and ongoing campaign over the next year to reduce pest populations, benefit farmers and landholders, minimise biosecurity risks to livestock, and lower the risk of environmental and ecological damage.

Since October 2023, the state-wide program has:

  • appointed the state’s first Feral Pig coordinator
  • culled 102,141 pigs – 15,141 above the original target of 87,000
  • had over 5400 properties participate in aerial and ground control programs
  • held 93 information and training sessions
  • completed 8465 one-on-one consultations with landholders.

In addition to this, the NSW Government’s biosecurity program includes significant investments in responses to major threats to the state’s agricultural industry, with:

  • $55.3 million for the eradication of red imported fire ants
  • $36.2 million to increase the resilience and capacity of beekeepers, and other industries manage Varroa mite
  • $25 million to support specialist scientific skills to boost the state’s frontline surveillance and preventative capabilities to defend against biosecurity risks
  • $6.2 million to target White Spot disease, supporting prawn fishers, farmers and businesses
  • $5.8 million to continue implementing the Good Neighbour Program to tackle weed and pest infestations between neighbouring public and private lands.

The Minns Labor Government is focused on responsible investments which will support the long-term prosperity of NSW communities, no matter where in the state they are.

Biosecurity vigilance is foundational to protecting the state’s environmental assets, agriculture and tourism industries, which is why the 2024-25 Budget will invest:

  • $217.2 for prevention preparation of future biosecurity threats including Weeds Action Plans, the first Biosecurity Commissioner and the Bio Lab Defence – key advancements in laboratory defences for diagnostics, pathology, virology, and entomology activities
  • $250.9 million to invest in major biosecurity programs covering active surveillance, rapid diagnostics, traceability investigations and responses for Varroa Mite, White Spot and Red Imported Fire Ant threats
  • $62.4 million investment to contain pests, weeds, and disease outbreaks to minimise adverse impacts on primary industries and the environment. Including the Sheep and Goat eID program to enable tracking and identification during any outbreaks
  • $415.1 million to address existing plant, animal and invasive biosecurity threats including $13.1m for Feral Pigs in 2024-25, the Good Neighbour program, the independent Agriculture Commissioner, plus Emergency Management Capability in response to natural disasters.

Our plan to build a better NSW

Since being elected, the NSW Government has prioritised the biosecurity of the state, with the passing of legislation to enable the establishment of the state’s first independent Biosecurity commissioner.

The Minns Labor Government know people across the state are doing it tough right now, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult for families in NSW to make ends meet.

For many regional communities, biosecurity incursions can impact the viability of local agriculture which has a significant effect on the local economy. This Budget is assisting those people by strengthening our frontlines against threats and incursions as well as funding advice and action on their land and waterways.

The 2024-25 Budget stands up for the people of NSW, no matter where they live, because we understand NSW does not thrive unless our regional and rural communities thrive, and that is not possible without vital funding to protect our state’s farmers.

Minister for Agriculture NSW, Tara Moriarty said:

“Agriculture and our farming communities are the lifeblood of our state and this $945 million investment in biosecurity over the coming four years will ensure our primary producers continue to have the support they need to thrive.

“Strong biosecurity protections are not just about keeping pest and weeds out – it is about protecting the state’s $22 billion agriculture industries and ensuring families across the state have access to the worlds best produce at the world’s best prices.

“We have been busy implementing our comprehensive biosecurity plan, from feral pig management to tackling weeds and pests on public lands and fighting the threat of red fire ants.

“Biosecurity is an ongoing challenge, but we are a government who are committed to prioritising the wellbeing of our farmers, regional communities and environments.

“The success of the feral pig program speaks for itself, but there’s still more to do, which this essential funding will enable.”

/Public Release. View in full here.