Millions in biosecurity budget to tackle fire ants, white spot, feral pigs and weeds

White spot disease, feral pigs, red fire ants and weeds are part of the focus in the biosecurity budget for NSW.

Biosecurity threats are big news from fire ants in Wardell to white spot in prawns in the Clarence Valley.

The State Government announced its budget of  $945.7million for biosecurity measures.

This includes an extra $13.1million in the 2024-25 budget for the Feral Pig Program, which has controlled more than 100,000 pigs since it began eight months ago.

$945million is a lot of money – here is where it’s going:

● $55million for the eradication of red imported fire ants. 

● $36million to increase the resilience and capacity of beekeepers to manage varroa mite. 

● $25million to support specialist scientific skills to boost frontline surveillance and preventative capabilities to defend against biosecurity risks. 

● $6million to target white spot disease in the fishing industry

● $5.8million to continue the Good Neighbour Program to tackle weed and pest infestations between neighbouring public and private lands.

● $217million for prevention preparation of future biosecurity threats including Weeds Action Plans, the first Biosecurity Commissioner and the Bio Lab Defence.

● $251million to invest in major biosecurity programs covering active surveillance, rapid diagnostics, traceability investigations and responses for varroa mite, white Sspot and red imported fireant threats.

● $62million investment to contain pests, weeds, and disease outbreaks to minimise adverse impacts on primary industries and the environment.

● $415million 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. has rounded figures up or down for ease of reading.

Minister for Agriculture NSW, Tara Moriarty said, “Strong biosecurity protections are not just about keeping pests and weeds out – it is about protecting the state’s $22 billion agriculture industries and ensuring families across the state have access to the world’s best produce at the world’s best prices.”

The information in this report was provided by the NSW Government.

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