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Port Lincoln to Receive Bulk of A$700,000 for Tuna Research

AUSTRALIA - Port Lincoln will win the bulk of a A$700,000 investment into Southern Bluefin Tuna research in the Federal Budget.

The work will focus on boosting production for the local industry that creates 53 per cent of aquaculture value to South Australia.

Research will focus on improving mortality rates and feeding cycles for tuna caught in the Great Australian Bight and delivered to farms off Port Lincoln for fattening, reports AdelaideNow.

In other research funding, a further $201 million over the next six years will focus national work on helping farmers and landholders move into carbon farming.

The work could be a boost to Murraylands farmers working on leading the field in carbon farming, with the new research expected to focus on cropping and grazing practices.

A further A$22.8 million has been allocated to continue household support for farming families in hardship, extending the Transitional Farm Family Payment for another two years to 30 June 2014.

Farm families can apply for up to 12 months of household income support, paid at the same rate as the Newstart Allowance.

The Government has also committed A$524.2 million over seven years to Australia's biosecurity.

A state-of-the-art quarantine facility will be built in Melbourne with another A$124.5 million in new funding for core frontline biosecurity operations.

"This investment will also support the move towards risk-based operations that will see resources allocated according to the level of risk," Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig said.

"A cornerstone of these reforms will be putting in place a new Biosecurity Act which will replace legislation that was first written in 1908."

The On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency Programme also will be expanded with a further A$150 million over six years from 2012-13, to help irrigators modernise their irrigation infrastructure.

Lucy Towers

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