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Australia Boosts Biosecurity Measures

9 May 2012, at 6:06pm

AUSTRALIA - A A$524.2 million investment in Australia’s biosecurity system included in the latest Federal Budget will deliver a state-of-the-art quarantine facility and strengthen Australia’s defences against pests and diseases.

This new funding will see more than A$1.6 billion invested in biosecurity by the Federal Government since 2009, safeguarding the agricultural sector and underpinning Australia’s strong reputation as a reliable exporter of high-quality food and fibre.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Senator Joe Ludwig said A$379.9 million has been allocated over seven years for the construction of a state-of-the-art post-entry quarantine facility in Melbourne.

“This facility will mean Australia will have the newest and most advanced technology available to manage the import of high-risk plant and animal material,” Minister Ludwig said.

“The investment corrects the Howard Government’s short-sighted decision to sell off quarantine centres, only to lease them back, with no maintenance plan, no long term investment strategy and no regard for changing land use in peri-urban areas.”

Minister Ludwig said A$124.5 million has been provided for core frontline biosecurity operations and external review and verification processes.

“Our frontline defences play a pivotal role in protecting Australia from pests and disease. This investment will also support the move towards risk-based operations that will see resources allocated according to the level of risk,” he said.

“On top of the wider biosecurity investment, a separate A$95.9 million over seven years, allocated from the Caring for our Country programme, will fund eradication programmes for nationally significant pests and diseases.”