Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, toured the Logan River area, recently affected by the outbreak of white spot disease in prawns in Queensland today.
Minister Ruston has met with several prawn producers representatives from peak industry bodies and the Queensland Government, who have been working tirelessly to contain and eradicate the disease.
“The Australian Government is providing $1.74 million to assist with costs relating to the outbreak and for biosecurity preparedness activities, which includes $400 000 that will go to support the farmers affected.
“I’m here today to see and hear ‘first hand’ the concerns of farmers, and establish what the Australian Government can do to further support the prawn industry,” Minister Ruston said.
“Experts are still unsure of the source of the outbreak, we are however acutely aware prawn farmers have been deeply affected.
“What is less visible is the impact on their families, employees ,the community and not to mention our national reputation.
“I’ve seen prawn ponds in different stages of the clean-up process. The most recent farm to become infected is currently undergoing decontamination activities – having started harvesting early so their losses will not be in the same magnitude of others.
“But for many of those affected, it’s the uncertainty of not knowing if they will be back in production for the next harvest.
“Australia’s leading aquatic experts believe eradication is possible and remains the objective of the response – which is great news.
“In December, Deputy Prime Minister Joyce said the government would consider a cost-sharing arrangement with industry, which might provide additional assistance for those affected.
“I will be working with industry on this arrangement.”
For more information on response activities, visit the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries website.