Helping hand for oyster farmers at Port Stephens

Oyster farmers in Port Stephens have been given a helping hand after a tough couple of years.

Farmers have had to deal with bushfires, floods, the pandemic and now a devastating outbreak of the QX disease.

The combination of all that had some local producers warning they were only months away from collapse.

NSW Agriculture Minister Dugald Saunders visited local farmers this week to let them know the state Government would be waiving all fees and charges for 2022-23.

“A few months ago, I met with local growers who told me they needed more support,

“We know how critical a role oyster growers play in the region’s economy and tourism industry, so we’ll continue to work with them to make sure they feel supported to get back on their feet.”

The fees and charges are waived for oyster farmers across the state, not just here in the Hunter.

The charges waived include things like fisheries and aquaculture permit holder fees, Food Authority Shellfish Program annual fees and Crown Lands annual rental fees. The waivers apply to all oyster and mussel aquaculture permit holders in the state.