13 Apr 2018

Blueprint to strengthen Queensland’s biosecurity

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development Mark Furner today announced the release of the Palaszczuk Government’s five-year plan to build the framework for Queensland’s future biosecurity system, to protect the state’s almost $20 billion agriculture industry.

Minister Furner said the Queensland Biosecurity Strategy was a blueprint to ensure Queensland remained at the forefront of effective biosecurity measures.

“Queensland’s biosecurity system faces increasing challenges from the growth in global trade and movement of people and maintaining the integrity of that system is a top priority for the Palaszczuk Government,” Mr Furner said.

“Queensland already boasts a proven track record in responding to and managing unwanted pests and diseases however there is simply no room for complacency when it comes to biosecurity.

“That is why the Queensland Biosecurity Strategy has been developed collaboratively with industry and the community to deliver shared ownership and management of biosecurity risks and decision making.

“The strategy will help keep Queensland ahead of the curve in delivering effective biosecurity measures that assist in safeguarding our reliable food supply, our lifestyle, environment and economy.”

“More than 30 organisations have contributed to developing the six strategic themes that combine to form a truly forward looking and revolutionary strategy,” Mr Furner said.

“Working with these organisations was critical in the development of the state’s position to harness the rapidly evolving technology and to strengthen Queensland’s world class innovative biosecurity solutions.

“As evidenced by the white spot disease outbreak in 2016, biosecurity challenges can affect industry and our environment at any time.

“Having a well-considered plan such as the Queensland Biosecurity Strategy in place means we are prepared to respond to whatever our next pest or disease challenge might be.”

Executive Officer of the Flower Association Shane Holborn said he welcomes the new strategy as robust biosecurity is the key to Queensland’s farmers being able to continue growing quality produce affordably.

“Queensland flower farmers are still paying the costs of previous pest and disease incursions with increased surveillance and costly pest management control measures. This strategy will help limit these unnecessary production costs and also keep foreign markets open to Australia’s exporters,” Mr Holborn said.

“The volume of imported roses had increased dramatically over the past 5 years with 1.5 million stems of roses being imported into Australia from Kenya and Colombia in the first two weeks of February alone.

“When you do the maths you realise that is 875,000 bunches of a dozen roses being imported from countries that are known to have biosecurity threats that we do not want, that’s a lot of potential risk so it’s critical we, the government and the industry, get biosecurity right.”

Minister Furner said the Government and its partners in the biosecurity system would now co-develop action plans which aligned with and build on the goals outlined in the strategy.

Minister Furner said the strategy was developed following an independent review of Queensland’s Biosecurity Capability.

“A monitoring and reporting system, overseen by an independent community and advisory group, will ensure the Strategy stays on track to deliver its goals,” Mr Furner said.

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This post was published from qld.gov.au.

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