Barnaby Joyce must refocus his efforts on Australia’s biosecurity system, otherwise ongoing failings will continue to deteriorate confidence in his Department.
Yesterday the Independent Inspector General of Biosecurity (IGB) released her report into the white spot disease (WSD) which shut down eight prawn farms across the Logan River in Queensland.
The report has made 22 recommendations all of which the Department has agreed to; however, some recommendations will require action from the Minister and he must make this a priority matter.
The IGB found during the implementation of the new Biosecurity Act 2015 departmental resources were extremely stretched. This is unacceptable, Barnaby Joyce must stop wasting his Department’s time, energy and critical funding on his pork barrel boondoggles to ensure it can undertake its key responsibilities.
In addition to the IGB’s report, Barnaby Joyce must also respond to the Senate Committee report into the failings surrounding the WSD as well as the Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity (IGAB) review. The IGAB review report was presented to the Agriculture Ministers' Forum (AGMIN) on 26 July this year. Six months later the Government has not responded to the IGAB review recommendations. Sadly, Barnaby Joyce didn’t even attend the AGMIN Forum.
It is extremely rare to hear Barnaby Joyce talking about Australia’s Biosecurity even though this is his key portfolio responsibility. Following the release of the IGB report he can no longer continue to ignore his responsibility.