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    Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries
    The Honourable Mark Furner

    Statement from Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Minister Mark Furner

    Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries
    The Honourable Mark Furner

    Tuesday, July 03, 2018

    Statement from Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Minister Mark Furner

    Last night’s Four Corners program exposed deep flaws in our federal biosecurity protections.

    It is clear that our borders are not safe from exotic pests and disease when the LNP are in control of them.

    But what more would you expect from a Federal Government that cut 25% of its biosecurity staff from the department.

    Lax quarantine measures and under-resourced import inspection agencies have the potential to ruin our $20 billion agriculture industry.

    The Federal Coalition Government talks a big game on border security, but the truth is they are letting exotic pests and diseases waltz in our back door.

    Meanwhile, Queensland is left to pick up the pieces and spend millions to stop the spread of these incursions, while the prawn industry struggles to stay afloat.

    We have initiated the successful state-wide education campaign "Be a mate, check your bait" with Andrew 'Roy' Symonds, reminding people not to use raw imported prawns as bait or burley.

    Since the original incursion we have tested more than 30,000 prawn and crab samples along the Queensland coastline, and only detected White Spot in three samples collected from the northern Moreton Bay region.

    This morning I wrote to Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud calling on him to do more to protect our vital prawn industry.

    Previously I wrote to him to asking to direct more resources to Biosecurity Australia and to guarantee that the funds raised by their nex tax on imported containers go toward protecting Queensland’s borders.

    And as far back as 2006 the Queensland Government wrote to Canberra to inform them of the risk of White Spot Disease.

    The LNP claim to be the farmer's friend, but it is abundantly clear they have no desire to protect primary producers in this state from biosecurity risks.

    The Commonwealth Government should seriously reconsider allowing the importation of green prawns in light of last night’s program.

    I’m a firm believer in taking a precautionary approach when it comes to protecting the Queensland seafood industry and the thousands of jobs that are linked to it.

    Media: Brock Taylor - 0427 018 178