Today I challenge Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce to guarantee front-line quarantine services will not be adversely affected by Government budget cuts.

DAFF staff received an email on Friday from the new Department Secretary Dr Paul Grimes stating that in the order of 220 voluntary redundancies will be required in coming months.

It’s understood the staff in the Border Protection Division of the Department were told that their jobs will be first to go.

I call on the Agriculture Minister to clarify where the cuts will occur and to ensure that Australia’s reputation in biosecurity will be maintained.

Our own food security and reputation as a safe and clean exporter are too important to be put at risk.

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