Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Jonno Duniam said our world-class forestry and fisheries sectors would benefit from a $32.9 million package in this year’s 2021-22 Federal Budget.

“The Morrison Government is committed to growing Australia’s forestry and fisheries sectors, which contribute $5.3 billion to our economy,” Assistant Minister Duniam said.

“We’re also committed to supporting the dedicated men and women who work in these important industries.

“Our $32.9 million package includes $10.6 million to support Regional Forestry Hubs, $1.3 million for a feasibility study to improve forestry research, $20.1 million for an E-Fish initiative and E-monitoring program and $900,000 to extend the ‘Tuna Champions’ program.”

The Morrison Government’s $10.6 million commitment to Regional Forestry Hubs will expand the network and establish two new Regional Forestry Hubs, in the Eden region of New South Wales and in the Northern Territory.

“These Hubs will improve the productivity of the forestry sector and lead to new opportunities for investment and job creation, which is vital to supporting each region and our regional economies,” Assistant Minister Duniam said.

“On top of that, we’ve committed $1.3 million for a feasibility study to look at options to improve the forestry industry’s research and development capacity, including an Australia-wide National Institute for Forest Products Innovation.”

The Morrison Government has committed $20.1 million for Commonwealth fisheries to introduce leading edge data integration, monitoring and artificial intelligence to reduce regulatory burden, boost productivity, support new export opportunities and improve environmental outcomes.

“The package includes the $9.95 million e-Fish initiative and the $10.1 million e-Monitoring program that will boost innovation and lower compliance costs,” Assistant Minister Duniam said.

“We have committed $5.4 million to back fair, strong and resilient supply chains.

“We will work with perishable agricultural goods supply chains, including within the seafood sector, to identify issues and develop tools to improve price and market transparency.”

The Morrison Government’s $900,000 commitment to ‘Tuna Champions’ will extend the program for another three years and expand to cover all tuna species of interest to recreational fishers.

“Tuna Champions is an important education and stewardship program for recreational fishers to encourage the best use of the southern bluefin tuna, encouraging fishers to only keep what the need for a feed and promoting responsible fishing practices,” Assistant Minister Duniam said.

“We also announced the $100 million Ocean Leadership Package to build ocean health and resilience while supporting jobs and economic activities in Australian communities.

“This Budget confirms our ongoing commitment to supporting the agriculture, fishing and forestry industries to reach the goal of $100 billion by 2030.

“There is still more work to do, but this Government will be with the forestry and fisheries sectors every step of the way.”