Restoring Tasmania’s Biosecurity Defences

Labor will restore the frontline of Tasmania’s biosecurity system.

Biosecurity is critical to Tasmania’s brand and our export economy.

The Liberals have consistently undermined the biosecurity system, including cutting $1 million from Biosecurity Tasmania in their first budget.

At the same time, we have seen record numbers of tourists coming to our state, through every entry point – from our airports, our ports and on the Spirits of Tasmania.

Over the past four years we have seen unacceptable biosecurity breaches, including Norwegian salmon on supermarket shelves, blueberry rust and pacific oyster mortality syndrome.

The latest discovery of Queensland fruit fly on Flinders Island and Tasmania’s North West could devastate our critical fruit and vegetable industry.

Urgent action is required to give confidence to international markets that we are taking this issue seriously and investing in bolstering our biosecurity capability.

A Majority Labor Government would allocate $3.7 million and Federal Labor would contribute $2 million to recruit an additional 20 biosecurity officers over the next four years, bolstering the state’s biosecurity frontline.

In addition, we will prepare a Biosecurity Emergency Management Plan, similar to the Emergency Management Plan that covers natural disasters like bushfires and coordinates agency responses.

This will include specific preparedness projects for potential biosecurity threats.

Responding to emergencies requires careful planning and a well-executed strategy.

Biosecurity staff do an amazing job but under the Liberals they have been forced to focus on day-to-day challenges rather than plan for potential threats.

Additional staff will help to relieve pressure on Biosecurity Tasmania, while ensuring they are better equipped to cope with ever-increasing pressures. Our biosecurity system must be focussed on prevention and preparedness, not reactivity and damage control.

This is an investment in protecting our economy and in protecting the Tasmanian brand.