An $18 million compensation package has been developed for registered beekeepers affected by the varroa mite outbreak, under an agreement reached by the Commonwealth and State governments and industry.
The National Management Group (NMG) for Emergency Plant Pests has also endorsed a National Response Plan to eradicate Varroa Destructor from NSW.
Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke welcomed the support and encouraged local beekeepers to keep doing their part.
“Agreement to provide reimbursement costs to residents who have bees for commercial use and recreation will ensure people will continue to come forward,” Ms Cooke said.
“We all have a common goal to protect the sector locally and at a state and national level, and it’s good to know beekeepers won’t be out of pocket.”
Ms Cooke the agreement will see registered commercial beekeepers reimbursed for all equipment, hives and bees that are destroyed in the eradication process, as well as the costs of honey.
NSW Agriculture Minister Dugald Saunders said eradication is the primary goal, and the state’s strong initial response and contact tracing work have made this possible.
“We still have extensive surveillance operations in place to find and destroy any further cases of this infestation,” Mr Saunders said.
“I want to thank the entire beekeeping community for their commitment and vigilance during this time.”
The National Management Group also endorsed compensation for licensed recreational beekeepers in recognition of their critical role in the response to this incursion.
The NSW Government is putting on an additional 26 compliance and surveillance officers to manage risk to facilitate key pollination events and ensure business continuity.