Cash boost set to secure biosecurity

James Jackson
James Jackson

A single outbreak has the potential to cost Australia around $50 billion.

James Jackson

NSW Farmers welcomes a $371 million funding injection for biosecurity to help stem the growing risk of pest and disease incursions in Australia.

NSW Farmers president James Jackson said government had made a timely decision to bolster the country's biosecurity defenses to help protect multi-billion dollar industries such as agriculture.

"A container levy is one of the most effective and sustainable ways of fostering a strong biosecurity system, as it requires the user who creates a risk to pay for it. It also means funding isn't at the whim of the government of the day."

"(Last year) was immortalised as the year of COVID-19, but it was also the year khapra beetle, serpentine leafminer and fall armyworm landed on domestic soil, while African swine fever remained as the greatest threat our domestic pork industry has ever faced."

"A single outbreak has the potential to cost Australia around $50 billion, while also causing considerable harm to native flora and fauna."

"Traces of African swine fever and foot and mouth disease recently detected at Australian borders reinforce the risks attendant with a globally connected world. The unprecedented levels of parcel movement to Australia gives cause for concern."

"The CSIRO gave us a stark wake up call last year when it released a report declaring Australia's biosecurity system will need to undergo significant change to meet the growing threat of potentially devastating pest and disease incursions."

"It is also not clear how Australia's biosecurity system will be reformed to meet emergent threats, as was the headline advice from CSIRO in its 2020 report," Mr Jackson concluded.

The funding will commence on 1 July 2021 and will run through to 30 June 2025.