A new report which aims to strengthen the nation’s biosecurity system to meet modern challenges like expanded farm trade has made 42 reform recommendations.
The extensive list of policy demands includes calling for greater government focus on investments in biosecurity prevention strategies rather than costly eradication.
However, the report has also suggested a legislated levy be implemented to raise funds in an ever-tightening political fiscal landscape, which would extend to farm commodity producers and be controlled by the Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce.
A review panel headed by Dr Wendy Craik assessed the Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity (IGAB) that sets out the parameters of funding arrangements and other complex relationships underpinning different methods for tackling deadly and costly incursions like Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD).
After a draft report was tabled late last year, a final version was recently handed to the forum of Australian agriculture ministers, with the commonwealth, state and territory ministers agreeing to now develop a national inter-governmental response.
Much of this ground has been covered before. It is time for governments to recognise their responsibilities for biosecurity and to knuckle down and actually do something, rather than just talk.
Source: Agribusiness Australia