Budget to include millions more for biosecurity
Published Thursday, 09 June, 2016 at 12:40 PM
Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries
The Honourable Leanne Donaldson
Agriculture Minister Leanne Donaldson has revealed next week’s State Budget will include $10.8 million over four years to begin to implement the recommendations of the Biosecurity Capability Review.
“When we released the Palaszczuk Government’s response to the 32 recommendations made by the independent panel we acknowledged there would have to be considerable investment to restore our capability to world’s best practice,” the Minister said.
“I am very pleased to say that the Treasurer will next week announce additional funding to meet those recommendations and strengthen Queensland’s biosecurity capability.
“This new funding brings our total commitment to implementing the review recommendations to $30.2 million
“The review was an election commitment in response to the former LNP government’s cuts to biosecurity programs, facilities and staff.
“Now we are demonstrating a further commitment to work in step with stakeholders on long-term solutions to the challenges we face.
“Since day one, this government has been serious about safeguarding our communities and protecting our environment from plant and animal pests and diseases, and invasive weeds and feral animals.
“Over the past few years, funding outside of emergencies has been a rarity in biosecurity. This new investment represents an opportunity to set the biosecurity system on a sustainable course for the future.
“We acknowledge that the recommendations will need to be implemented over the next few years, so this funding is the start of a long term journey.
“Meetings are being held with industry groups and interested stakeholders on priorities for implementation which will be supported by this investment.
“Priority initiatives for funding include:
- development of a Strategy and Action Plan to outline shared ownership and management of biosecurity risks and decision-making
- establishment of a new biosecurity preparedness and response unit to help manage new and emerging threats
- introduction of new quality assurance measures for plant diagnostics and a boost to laboratory capacity to improve detection of plant pests and diseases
- development of an investment framework and model for funding biosecurity risks to guide allocation of government resources
- introduction of a regional pilot program to manage biosecurity threats on a local level
- partnering to manage threats posed by marine pests and diseases
- investment in Biosecurity Queensland’s workforce to meet the biosecurity threats of tomorrow.
“It’s important that we fund improvements to our biosecurity system given the increasing risks Queensland faces as the frontline state for entry of exotic pests and diseases
“Further initiatives such as the implementation of the Biosecurity Act 2014 and Exhibited Animals Act 2015, and the development of improved information management systems have already commenced and will support an improved biosecurity system in Queensland.
“I’ve already stated that biosecurity is everyone’s responsibility, and to truly achieve improvement to Queensland’s biosecurity capability we need a joint effort.
“We will therefore continue to work with stakeholders to confirm their priorities and how they can partner to support the resourcing and funding that will be needed.”
To find out more about the Government’s implementation of the review recommendations, visit www.daf.qld.gov.au or call 13 25 23.
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