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Biosecurity bill undermined by budget cuts

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 27 Nov 2014

The Australian Greens said today that Government's efforts on biosecurity are undermined by their reckless budget cuts and lack of meaningful action on climate change.

"The Government has lauded the fact they've introduced their biosecurity bill to Parliament today, but they're ignoring the fact that their budget cuts are actively undermining Australia's biosecurity protections," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens agriculture spokesperson said today.

"There are significant biosecurity threats to Australia, as outlined by CSIRO in this week's report Australia's Biosecurity Future. The CSIRO are calling for for preemptive action against biosecurity threats, but I am concerned that efforts are being undermined by the Government's budget cuts and their failed response to climate change.

"36 scientists in the agriculture and biosecurity fields will be lost from CSIRO as part of budget cuts. On top of this, there are cuts to Landcare and NRM and concerns the Government will move to integrate Australia's biosecurity operations into the new Australian Border Force Agency.

"Threats to biosecurity are increasing, and are magnified by issues such as climate change. This is not the time to be weakening our biosecurity controls, especially for the sake of cost cutting. The serious concerns on the biosecurity implications of the secretive TPP negotiations also remain unanswered.

"The Government's bill needs to be carefully examined, and I am glad it has been referred to a Senate Inquiry," Senator Siewert concluded.


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