Labor is aware that Japan has found several positive test results relating to Bovine Johne's Disease (BJD) within a consignment of breeding livestock exported from Australia in May.
Japan is understandably sensitive about BJD and is undertaking an eradication program.
We are right to be concerned about Australia's reputation as an exporter of safe product. Australia's key competitive advantage is our clean, green and safe brand, and we must protect it.
The first priority for the Turnbull Government should be the protection of that reputation.
Our other trading partners will be watching our response very closely.
Barnaby Joyce is yet to pick up the phone under the caretaker conventions, but Labor will be requesting an urgent briefing from his department today.
Barnaby Joyce must make clear when he first knew of the problem because it is unacceptable that Australians first heard about the incident on the radio.
The Turnbull Government's silence does not provide much reassurance that it is acting to safeguard Australia’s reputation and trade links.
FRIDAY, 3 JUNE 2016