16 Sep 2012

Federated Farmers supports new biosecurity legislation

9:02 am on 16 September 2012

Federated Farmers says new biosecurity legislation will empower individual primary industries to better protect themselves from unwanted pests and diseases.

The Biosecurity Reform Bill which became law this week allows industry groups to jointly invest in biosecurity with the Government by way of Government Industry Agreements.

So far, six primary sectors have signalled their support for the non-compulsory scheme.

Federated Farmers' biosecurity spokesperson William Rolleston says they will no longer be kept at arms length when the Government develops biosecurity procedures.

He says the idea of the agreements is for industries and the ministry to discuss issues disease by disease and industry by industry, "and go through and work out where the risks are, what the current disease status is around the world, and how we're going to be prepared and respond to any incursion".

Dr Rolleston says part of the discussion will be on risks and import health standards.

He says the ministry and industries need to work more closely together and industries need to be involved earlier on.