Ken O'Dowd on the outskirts of Rockhampton during a fact finding trip along the Bruce Highway.
Ken O'Dowd on the outskirts of Rockhampton during a fact finding trip along the Bruce Highway. Chris Ison

More funds for biggest BJD outbreak Australia has ever seen

11.35am: STATE Agriculture Minister John McVeigh updated reporters on the Bovine Johne's Disease (BJD) outbreak which has severely impacted Central Queensland producers and is the largest in Australia's history.

Mr McVeigh spoke with reporters at the Gracemere Saleyards this morning about the outbreak while announcing to $3 million in additional support for beef producers hit by BJD.

He said while $2 million had been provided to kick-start BJD assistance, the government was now providing access of up to $5 million.

"The extra $3 million was to be tipped into the Queensland Cattle Industry Biosecurity Fund, dollar-for-dollar, once the beef industry biosecurity levy was up and running from mid next year," Mr McVeigh said.

"However, there were long delays in establishing the levy collection mechanism caused by the Federal Labor Government."

He said 35 properties were still under quarantine from the outbreak with the State Government receiving 24 funding applications and 13 processed so far.

"Given the dire circumstances faced by many producers hit by BJD, the Newman Government is making the $3 million available immediately to bolster the assistance program," Mr McVeigh said.

"This extra funding means there's now scope for more assistance for producers.

"I've directed the Interim Industry Advisory Committee to review the program's coverage and the current cap of $50,000."

Mr McVeigh said any funds from the $5 million now available for BJD assistance that remained unspent at 30 June 2014, would be redirected to the Queensland Cattle Industry Biosecurity Fund as a loan from the government.

8.35am: LIBERAL National Party members will be announcing election commitments this morning that will benefit Mt Morgan and Gracemere.

Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd, Queensland Agriculture Minister John McVeigh and LNP Senate candidate Dr. Theresa Craig are in the region this morning and expected to make announcements.

Reporters will attempt to Live Video stream the announcements, if there is enough internet connectivity at the press conference sites.


Mr O'Dowd is expected to announce the LNP would fund the much needed fencing upgrade at the Mt Morgan Showgrounds if successful at Saturday's Federal Election.

"After having some time off, the Mt Morgan show has been back and better than ever for some 15 years but as you can imagine, facilities can get run down over time," he said.

"Therefore I am very happy to announce that an incoming Coalition Government will fund the upgrade and replacement of existing fencing around the Mt Morgan Showgrounds to the tune of $50,000 if successful on Saturday."

The LNP is also expected to announce a promise to fund the Gracemere Streetscapes project.

"Gracemere has seen an unprecedented rate of growth over recent years with significant development in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors, Mr O'Dowd said.

"It is with that growth that the need has arisen to improve the aesthetic qualities of the community and refurbishing and replacing streetscapes and paths is a great way to achieve that goal.

"I am very pleased to be able to support this vital community project, as a part of a strong and stable Coalition team if successful on Saturday with a contribution of $70,000 to complete the project."

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