20 Apr 2015

Minister defends biosecurity review timing

3:30 pm on 20 April 2015

The Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy is defending the timing of the Government's biosecurity review.

The project, called Biosecurity 2025, will update and replace the biosecurity strategy which was put in place 12 years ago.

Public and industry groups will be consulted and it will be peer-reviewed.

Labour's Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O'Connor is highly critical of the time it has taken to mount a review, after an Auditor-General's report two years ago identified deficiencies in the biosecurity system.

But Mr Guy said a lot of things have changed since the original biosecurity strategy was introduced in 2003, and the timing is appropriate.

"The things that have changed are, we've got an increase in trade volumes, we've got an increase in passenger numbers coming across our border, and also we're beefing up the overall biosecurity system."

We've got more dogs, more people, higher funding than when we first came into office and the other important thing is we've now got government-industry agreements. We've got four signatories with industry so far and more are indicating they want to come on board," Mr Guy said.

However the Government is still being challenged on its decision four years ago to drop 100 percent screening of bags coming in on air flights.

Mr Guy said the Government will work through that.

A Queensland fruit fly and larvae found Grey Lynn.

A Queensland fruit fly and larvae found Grey Lynn. Photo: MPI

"The green lane, as it's commonly called, has the highest compliance rate and while we've found some fruit fly in a small localised area in Grey Lynn, we may never know how that fruit fly came in," he said.

"What we have done since then is, we've stepped up 100 percent dog detector surveillance and the dogs are doing a fantastic job. They're actually the best form of detecting any Queensland fruit fly host material."

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