Photo: AAP Image/Dan Peled
The Liberal National Government is supporting jobs in the Queensland bait prawn industry as it works to recover from an outbreak of white spot syndrome virus.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said $5 million over three years will be shared among local organisations to relieve costs of keeping our country free of the virus.
The funding will also be used to educate commercial and recreational fishers on the risk of not using commercial bait.
"The bait prawn industry plays an important role here in Queensland and we want to make sure these businesses survive and keep employing locals," Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.
"We want to help get rid of this virus so fisherman down the coast here can get back to business as usual."
Queensland’s continuing efforts to control and contain the disease mean uncooked prawns, including those used for bait, are unable to be moved outside of the affected area until they are treated.
Industry, Science and Technology Minister Karen Andrews said the Queensland bait prawn industry is experiencing significant losses in revenue, affecting the livelihoods of Australian fisherman, both in Queensland and interstate.
"The white spot outbreak area extends from Caloundra to the NSW border and west to Ipswich where the greasyback prawn is found,” Minister Karen Andrews said.
"This is a common bait for recreational fishers, and the Coalition is helping to stamp this virus out."
“The Coalition is working to protect the local prawn farming industry and jobs through this funding allocation."
The white spot syndrome virus is a highly contagious infection that affects crustaceans, such as prawns, crabs and yabbies.
There is no impact to human health, so Australians are encouraged to support the local seafood industry, particularly over the Christmas period, by continuing to buy and eat Australian seafood.