Australian Government funds Norfolk Island artificial reproduction for livestock

The Australian Government will provide the Norfolk Island community with $210,000 for critical infrastructure to boost the genetic diversity and sustainability of local ruminant livestock.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the funding to the Norfolk Island Cattle Association would provide for a liquid nitrogen plant, generator, portable cattle crush and portable yard fencing to support artificial reproduction for ruminants.

“Our community development grants support and build our regional communities, making them even greater places to live by investing in projects such as this,” Mr McCormack said.

“This funding is a great opportunity for the Australian Government, industry and the Norfolk community to work together to help improve the quality and genetic diversity of the local herds, supporting the continued supply of beef, goat and sheep products on Island while safeguarding the unique biosecurity status of the Island.”

Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories Nola Marino said this project is the result of a lot of hard work over a number of years.  It responds to community concerns about the sustainability of the local ruminant populations. In February 2019, the Government commissioned work to improve cattle, sheep and goat genetics on Norfolk Island.

“This report identified an urgent need for new males across all ruminant species and recommended actions to improve the effectiveness of artificial reproduction on Norfolk Island,” Mrs Marino said.

“With today's announcement, the Government is supporting the agriculture industry on Norfolk Island in taking necessary action to protect livestock sustainability into the future.”

“This project demonstrates what can be achieved when the community and Government work together to find solutions to local problems.”

The Administrator of Norfolk Island Eric Hutchinson chairs a Working Group consisting of industry, community and government representatives.

“The group was integral in the development of the report and looks forward to supporting the Norfolk Island Cattle Association to deliver on this critical community project,” Mr Hutchinson said.

The report and its recommendations are available on the Department's website at www.infrastructure.gov.au/NI-ruminants.

The Australian Government will work with the Norfolk Island Cattle Association to finalise a formal project proposal so that the funding can flow under the Community Development Grants Programme.