The Abbott Government must explain why it is abolishing the position of Inspector General for Biosecurity, in light of the imported berry contamination.
Barnaby Joyce has introduced legislation into the Parliament that will see the position abolished, with the interim-Inspector General’s contract expiring on 1 July this year.
Following this week’s extremely concerning berry contamination, Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce should reverse their decision to abolish the position of Inspector General for Biosecurity immediately.
Abolishing this critical position is incredibly reckless – Australia’s biosecurity systems must be as secure as possible.
Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce are putting their determination to cut services and important supervisory bodies ahead of the health and well-being of Australians.
Established by the former Labor Government in July 2013, the Inspector General provides independent oversight and is able to independently investigate any failings within the biosecurity system through a statutory office.
It is the independent cop on the beat with broad audit and review powers – under the Abbott Government’s legislation before the Parliament, Barnaby Joyce is handed effective responsibility for biosecurity issues, rather than the independent authority.
Australians will be alarmed at this development, given Minister Joyce was clearly unable to answer questions from the media today about the Hepatitis A outbreak this morning.