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Freight's back on the menu after virus hit

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Farmers and fishers who had their exports derailed by coronavirus will be able to start sending their goods overseas again.

Air freight will be used to export Australian produce and bring back urgently needed medical supplies.

"Getting our export sector back on its feet is crucial to reduce job losses through the crisis," Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said.

"It's a critical part of the ultimate economic recovery."

The operation will also help prop up Australia's struggling airlines, with the government spending $110 million to secure the flights.

Produce will be shipped to key Australian markets including China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.

Fishers will also see $10 million worth of levies waived for the rest of the year.

Former Australia Post executive Michael Byrne will head the export operations.

Assistant Fisheries Minister Jonno Duniam said the industry had taken a massive hit when China shut its borders.

"Unlocking key international markets will get thousands of fishers, divers, deckhands and processors back on the job," he said.

© AAP 2020

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