Auditor-General’s report highlights the need for urgent action to support biosecurity system
8 June 2021
AUSVEG, the peak industry body for Australia’s vegetable growers, has called for urgent action into Australia’s biosecurity system following the findings of an Auditor-General’s report into non-compliance with biosecurity requirements.
The report found that the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’s (DAWE) arrangements to respond to non-compliance with biosecurity requirements, and its compliance framework, were largely inappropriate.
AUSVEG has repeatedly raised concerns around the serious and dangerous pathways for pests and diseases to enter the country through imported cut flowers and foliage from countries with high levels of non-compliance, which threatens Australia’s agriculture industry.
AUSVEG CEO James Whiteside says that industry has been crying out for more ongoing support for the nation’s biosecurity system for years, with recent biosecurity incursions proof that biosecurity is too important to be left to chance and luck.
“An ineffective biosecurity system increases the risks for harmful pests and diseases to enter our shores and threatens the viability of our entire agriculture sector,” said Mr Whiteside.
“As we have seen over the last 18 months, ensuring Australia has a strong, fit-for-purpose and well-resourced biosecurity system is vital for Australia’s agriculture industry and important for the health and safety of every Australian.”
“AUSVEG is supportive of a longer-term, ongoing funding model that ensures the nation’s biosecurity system is well-resourced, effective and prepared to take on the emerging biosecurity challenges of the future.
“While we have natural advantages due to our geographical location, we cannot afford to be complacent. Recent biosecurity outbreaks in this country, including Fall armyworm and Serpentine leafminer, have shown the tremendous economic and emotional toll that incursions have on an industry and its members.”
“Our biosecurity system needs ongoing resources are dedicated to keeping our borders safe from harmful and dangerous pests and diseases.”
“The agriculture industry is working towards a target of $100 billion in value in 2030 and requires a robust and effective biosecurity system to protect crops and communities for harmful pests and diseases.”
MEDIA CONTACT: Shaun Lindhe, AUSVEG National Manager – Communications
Mobile: 0405 977 789, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org