The recent detection of fruit fly on Flinders Island is of great concern.
The presence of fruit fly could devastate the trade capacity of farmers in Tasmania costing the State millions of dollars in jobs and sales.
The lack of a coherent biosecurity priority strategy is another legacy failure of former Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce.
Australia’s Biosecurity Framework underpins Agriculture’s trade and economic success. But a recent review found there are critical areas that need strengthening.
This review report was provided to the Turnbull Government in July 2017. To date there has been no response.
These critical recommendations need to be taken seriously and the new Agriculture Minister David Littleproud must make this another priority.
To make matters worse, the disruption caused by the State Liberal Government’s plan to relocate 100 Department of Primary Industries staff within Tasmania has created an unwelcome distraction from this potentially catastrophic biosecurity threat.
David Littleproud should step up and put an end to Barnaby Joyce’s wasteful pork barrel boondoggles and invest the money to strengthen Australia’s biosecurity framework.
Otherwise we will see Tasmanian farmers suffer the financial consequences just as our Queensland prawn farmers did with the outbreak of white spot disease.