Kudos to NSW Labor for pledging $4 million to fight Q fever

NSW Farmers has today welcomed a pledge from NSW Labor to reduce the impact of Q fever on rural communities. 

Opposition Leader Michael Daley, Shadow Minister for Primary Industries, the Hon Mick Veitch, and Shadow Minister for Health, the Hon Walt Secord, announced a $4 million policy to tackle Q fever through improved access to vaccination. 

NSW Farmers’ President, James Jackson, said he was pleased that NSW Labor had made a commitment to improving access to the current Q fever vaccine, and would invest in research to commercialise a new vaccine.

“Kudos to NSW Labor for taking Q fever seriously and committing to protecting those that are most vulnerable to contracting this debilitating disease.”

Mr Jackson, who suffered from an acute form of Q fever, said that NSW Farmers was grateful for the ongoing support of NSW Labor to address Q fever risk. 

“Both Mick Veitch and I know how difficult it can be to manage Q fever once you’re exposed to it. We don’t want to see more people suffer unnecessarily – funding vaccination clinics is a simple solution.”

The policy includes $3.7 million for vaccination clinics and $300,000 to complete trials of a new Q fever vaccine.

“For over two years, NSW Farmers has been lobbying governments to recognise that Q fever isn’t just an occupational disease – it’s something that puts our families and communities at risk.

“We’re the only country in the world with a commercial human vaccine, which is still cost-prohibitive to many rural residents. Funding for Q fever clinics reduces the time and cost burden, and means that we can protect more people from this deadly disease.”

Mr Jackson said that funded Q fever clinics would provide essential coverage for rural communities prior to the commercialisation of a new, cheaper vaccine.

“I’m pleased that the funding for new vaccine trials will be allocated to the Australian Rickettsial Reference Laboratory, headed by Dr Stephen Graves. Dr Graves has been a tireless campaigner on the issue of Q fever, and has already begun developing the new vaccine here in New South Wales.”

Funding for Q fever vaccination clinics is a key pillar of NSW Farmers 2019 state election platform. For more information on this and other policy asks, visit www.nswfarmers.org.au/focus.             

Date:  Monday 4 February 2019
Media Contact:  Kathleen Curry | Public Affairs Director | 0429 011 690