rural queensland
Both announcements relate to rural Queensland. Image – Canva.
  • Up to $500,000 is up for grabs for land and sea restoration
  • This week is NAIDOC week
  • 3,000 Pacific workers from low-risk countries have arrived to assist farmers

The Queensland government has today announced funding to assist Indigenous communities across the state to care for Country, along with the announcement farmers have benefitted from 3,000 Pacific workers.

The program – announced during NAIDOC Week – is based on a similar one introduced last year as part of the state’s pandemic economic recovery plan, which saw 25 jobs created.

Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said applications are open for the Looking after Country program, with individual organisations able to share up to $500,000 for programs conserving and restoring land and sea.

“First Nations communities have played a central and powerful role in caring for environment, culture and heritage for tens of thousands of years,” said Ms Scanlon.

“This year’s NAIDOC theme is Healing Country: embracing First Nation cultural knowledge and understanding, which is exactly what these grants are aimed at.

“Funding of up to $75,000 will be available to support projects that provide opportunities for jobs and for Traditional Owners to continue caring for Country.”

Meaghan Scanlon, Minister for Environment

Projects can vary from conservation work on cultural sites and events to knowledge sharing along with habitat restoration and traditional fire management.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Councils, Indigenous Corporations, non-profit organisations and corporations are eligible for the grants, which closes on August 9.

3,000 Pacific workers on Queensland farms

In other rural Queensland news, the Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Rural Communities, Mark Furner, has said 3,000 Pacific workers have to date entered Queensland to work on farms and other rural businesses.

Queensland was the first of the states and territories to trial on-farm quarantine for workers from Pacific Islands – which have a low Covid-19 risk.

“Facilitating the workers that our farmers need is vital to maintaining our status as Australia’s largest vegetable producer and second largest fruit producer,” said Mr Furner.

“Most of these workers have quarantined on-farm so they can work during their quarantine period, while others have used hotel quarantine when capacity is available without taking away capacity for returning Australians.”

Mark Furner, Minister for Agricultural Industry Development

The news comes as NAB recently revealed that agribusiness, as a sector, is on track to become a $100 billion industry by 2030.

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