The NSW Liberal National Government will invest over $5.6 million in agricultural research and development in the Hunter to bolster on-farm productivity and help protect the $15 billion sector from devastating pests and diseases.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC welcomed the investment, which cements NSW as Australia’s leader in agriculture, fisheries and biosecurity research.
“This is a clear message that the NSW Government understands the value of the Hunter’s contribution to food and fibre production in NSW, and to the wider economy,” Mr MacDonald said.
“This investment includes $5.6 million to expand and upgrade marine aquaculture facilities to triple kingfish production in Port Stephens.
“From oysters to fish farms, the NSW DPI Port Stephens Fisheries institute has a long history of industry collaboration and research delivering measurable results for producers and consumers.”
“This new investment will build on that success and drive new waves of innovation and production in this growth sector.”
“The Hunter will also share in $6.8 million to improve NSW DPI research facilities, equipment and safety statewide, and $6 million to improve biosecurity emergency management to protect primary industries and our environment.”
“At a time when Hunter farmers are dealing with a cold, dry winter it is encouraging to see the NSW Liberal National Government continue to back our farmers by investing in the future of agriculture.”
Minister for Primary Industries, Niall Blair said the State’s 26,000 farms and rural and regional communities from one end of the state to the other would benefit from this investment.
“This Budget commitment into research and development capability is critical for NSW to remain competitive with international markets,” Mr Blair said.
“We are sending a clear signal to our farmers and the farming sector, who are enduring a cold, dry winter, that we are committed to seeing these times through and continuing the sector’s growth.”