AIR BEE-N-BEE FOR APIARISTS

A $530,000 online portal will help commercial beekeepers overcome the challenges of accessing land caused by bushfire and drought, by giving them a one-stop-shop for public site access, Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall announced today.

Mr Marshall joined Member for Bathurst Paul Toole at the Beekeeper’s Inn in the State’s Central West, and said the new BPASS Portal would also allow apiarists to apply and pay for their permits and licenses online for the first time.

“They already produce the sweetest honey, and now the NSW Government has given our beekeepers another tool to help them on the domestic and world stage,” Mr Marshall said.

“BPASS simplifies the permit application process for apiarists, who can now find, apply and pay for public land apiary sites, across multiple Government agencies, in an online one-stop-shop.

“Like much of our primary industries sector, apiarists were badly affected by both the record-breaking drought and the widespread bushfires, so the portal would allow them to make the best use of available land.”

Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said the BPASS portal features searchable online maps displaying available site locations, prefilled information from previous applications, online approval of applications and permit documents produced automatically after payment.

“We’ve seen online holiday rentals boom in recent years, and now we’ve got the same things for our world class beekeepers – the Air-Bee-n-Bee of the apiary industry,” Mr Toole said.

“This more than half-a-million-dollar investment would support the long-term viability of our commercial beekeeping industry by giving them another competitive edge.

“What we’re seeing with today’s launch is a coordinated effort between NSW National Park and Wildlife Service, Forestry Corporation of NSW and Local Land Services to support the sector, so that production can be as easy and efficient as possible.”