20/03/2020 | Tim Whetstone MP

Kangaroo Island is one step closer to recovery after the Federal and South Australian Governments today announced $3.7 million in joint funding to support bushfire-affected farmers.

It will provide support over the next six months with associated freight costs of ferrying fodder for livestock and donated fencing to the island.

A jointly funded $3.8 million enhanced biosecurity program will also work to protect Kangaroo Island’s unique, pristine environment which is under increased risk of pests and diseases as a result of transporting goods and machinery to the island.

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said the $7.5 million total would be cost shared by the Commonwealth and the State under the existing Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

“The Coalition Government has been working with the South Australian Government to roll out recovery programs as quickly as possible to their bushfire-affected communities,” said Minister Littleproud.

"These local communities have shown great strength and determination, and we're going to be there with them all the way as they recover and rebuild.

“This package of assistance is on top of the recently announced $10,000 small business grants for Kangaroo Island. Both of these demonstrate that we will not set and forget. We are listening to local communities about what is needed and tailoring our response to address identified challenges.”

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said the Kangaroo Island ferry assistance and an enhanced biosecurity program will support bushfire-affected farmers through a critical phase of the recovery process.

“Since the fires, the Marshall Liberal Government has been working with Livestock SA to get fodder as quickly and efficiently as possible to Kangaroo Island and the extra support from the State and Federal governments will allow this to continue for a further six months and be expanded to include things like fence posts,” said Minister Whetstone.

“In recognition that recovery and rebuild activities can increase the risk of introducing new biosecurity threats to the region, increased random checks at ferry terminals and expanded public education can be expected.

“Weed seeds in fodder and on machinery, potential spread of livestock diseases and potential exposure to honeybee pests and diseases, are some of the worries we want to alleviate for fire-affected farmers as they work through the aftermath of the fires. These programs will allow us to do that."