Biosecurity gets $164m in NSW budget

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The NSW government will spend a record $163.9 million to protect the agriculture industry from biosecurity threats, like foot and mouth, lumpy skin disease, and the destructive khapra beetle.

Agriculture Minister Dugald Saunders said the funding, to be included in the state budget on June 21, will strengthen state border surveillance and help develop new technology including vaccines.

The emergence of Japanese encephalitis, a virus spread by mosquitoes that can infect humans and animals, influenced the significant spending on biosecurity, he said.

"Things like the changing climate and weather patterns have seen Japanese encephalitis move from northern Australia, to parts of southern NSW and into Victoria, which has never been seen before," Mr Saunders told reporters at the Department of Primary Industries' emergency control room in Orange on Friday.

"We're recognising things can and will continue to change and we need to be ready for that."

Mr Saunders said the funding will protect the industry, while affected farmers can get support from the department and their local vets.

"Care and support is what fixes the animals, not funding. You don't feed them dollar bills," he said.

"The staff we have on the ground are second to none as far as their expertise.

"We've got vaccines going into arms for people around (Japanese encephalitis) and that's something we'll continue."

Treasurer Matt Kean said the budget measure will benefit not just producers, but entire regional communities.

"We're making sure that we're looking after places like Orange and the regions so they can continue to drive our economy as they have done for generations," he said.

"This is one of the biggest investments that we've seen in biosecurity in the country."

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