The Federal Government must commit to strengthening Australia’s biosecurity systems according to AUSVEG, Australia’s industry body for vegetable and potato growers.
Australian agriculture is built on the premise of being able to deliver safe and quality produce to the world, and a key part of Australian growers achieving that is to ensure damaging pests and diseases are kept out of the country.
“Australia’s agriculture industry must constantly remain on the front foot of potential pest and disease threats,” AUSVEG National Public Affairs Manager Tyson Cattle said.
“It is often the case that the general public, and sometimes even growers, don’t recognise the benefits of a strong biosecurity system until it’s too late.”
In the last two years, Australia’s horticulture industry has been impacted by detections of tomato-potato psyllid (TPP), citrus canker and brown marmorated stink bug in various states, as well as facing ongoing threats such as fruit fly.
“Once a pest or disease has entered the country it can become very costly to manage,” Mr Cattle said.
“The best way to keep a pest or disease at bay and allow our growers to keep producing the best food in the world, is by stopping it at the border.
“Imported cut flowers are a perfect example where additional safeguards must be implemented and enforced for products coming from overseas to ensure there is no biosecurity risk to our industry.”
Respecting our Borders is one of the six key messages in AUSVEG’s priorities for the Federal Election – SPROUT: Growing a better future.
AUSVEG has previously asked government to prioritise the implementation of all recommendations in the Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity (IGAB) report, as well as ensuring the promotion, delivery and acceptance of the National Biosecurity Statement.
“Growers continue to fight pests and diseases every day through stringent on-farm biosecurity practices, at their own cost,” he said. “It’s important the Federal Government does its bit to ensure we are adequately funding a strong biosecurity program on the front line of defence against pests and diseases.”