The federal government will spend $240 million to extend its international freight assistance scheme as borders remain shut.
Before the virus hit, about 90 per cent of exports were sent overseas in the bellies of passenger planes.
Trade Minister Simon Birmingham says the extension would provide ongoing certainty for exporters who rely on air freight.
“These freight flights have been vital to getting Australian produce out the door during these tough times and helping to keep local farmers and fishers in business,” he said on Friday.
“Australian produce such as rock lobster, tuna and beef is in strong demand thanks to its reputation for quality, safety and reliability.”
Since the program started earlier in the year, 1800 flights have exported 36,000 tonnes of produce worth an estimated $1 billion.
Rock lobster, salmon, tuna, beef, lamb, pork, poultry and dairy products are key exports.
Vegetables such as avocados, broccoli and strawberries are also sent overseas.
The majority of freight has gone to key markets in New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Qatar, Kuwait and the UAE.
The extra money takes the total spent on the scheme to $350 million and secures about $3 billion in agricultural and aquacultural exports.
Want to comment?
Send us an email, making it clear which story you’re commenting on and including your full name (required for publication) and phone number (only for verification purposes). Please put “Reader views” in the subject.
We’ll publish the best comments in a regular “Reader Views” post. Your comments can be brief, or we can accept up to 350 words, or thereabouts.
Local News Matters
Media diversity is under threat in Australia – nowhere more so than in South Australia. The state needs more than one voice to guide it forward and you can help with a donation of any size to InDaily. Your contribution goes directly to helping our journalists uncover the facts. Please click below to help InDaily continue to uncover the facts.