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Senator Bridget McKenzie, Minister for Agriculture, has announced that she has established Biosecurity Futures, a new biosecurity advisory group aiming to provide industry intelligence and advice on biosecurity matters to government.

Announced by Minister McKenzie during part of an address to the National Biosecurity Forum, the group will be chaired by the Minister and will include industry and sector representatives.
CEO of National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) Tony Mahar commented, “Australia’s biosecurity system is absolutely fundamental to the success of our agriculture industries, to the health of our natural environment and to our society and economy at large.

“We welcome the Minister’s decision to set up this new advisory group, which will allow industry to contribute constructively to biosecurity policy discussions at a high level.”

Mr Mahar also commented that maintaining Australia’s high levels of biosecurity should be the government’s number one priority.

“We’re operating in an increasingly global environment – the volume of goods and people moving in and out of the country continues to grow, and so too does the biosecurity task.

“In May this year the Inspector General of Biosecurity said that Australia’s border biosecurity system had been stretched close to breaking point with the effort required to keep the brown marmorated stink bug out.

“This is alarming, particularly at a time when other highly damaging pests and diseases not yet present in Australia, such as African swine fever and Xyllella fastidiosa, continue to spread around the globe.

“A single biosecurity incursion has the potential to bring one or more of our farming industries to its knees, and to cause untold damage to our unique natural environment.

“Resourcing the system that keeps these unwanted pests out is too important to compromise.
“We need increased and sustainable funding to support a strong biosecurity system – be that through an imports levy or another mechanism.”

The Minister also signed the National Biosecurity Statement, jointly developed by environment, industry (including the NFF) and government to align views for the biosecurity system and outline shared responsibility.

The statement is available on the Department of Agriculture website here.

Extracted from NFF press release “NFF MEDIA: New biosecurity advisory group to provide industry voice to government”: Dated 27.11.19