The Inspector General for Biosecurity must step in to ensure the Commonwealth's response to the ongoing crisis in Australia's prawn industry is adequate.
Barnaby Joyce has failed to provide any reassurance to Australia's prawn farmers who have collectively suffered multi-million dollar losses as a result of the outbreak of the White Spot disease. His public comments have been vague and evasive.
Farmers I met with yesterday say the Minister's response has been slow and inadequate and they remain concerned the Government has no plan to guarantee them a future.
Cases like White Spot are the very reason Labor created an independent Inspector General and why we fought so hard and successfully to protect the independence of the Office when Barnaby Joyce tried remove it by legislation.
Farmers are particularly concerned that while imports were belatedly suspended, a large volume of infected imported prawns remain on sale and pose a risk of further spreading White Spot.
It's in the interests of all the commercial players for the Inspector General to intervene by reviewing the adequacy of the Commonwealth responses and strategies.