Liberals promise $480k for Biosecurity if re-elected
RIGHT NOW we’re seeing our Biosecurity Tasmania Members work day and night to respond to the discovery of the Queensland fruit fly after it was found in the State. Biosecurity Workers are at the frontline of maintaining our state’s reputation in export markets. They stand between pests and diseases and our agriculture industry. Biosecurity Tasmania needs to be resourced to respond to situations like these.
Last week Minister Jeremy Rockliff promised that, if re-elected, the Liberals would spend $480,000 on Biosecurity over four years on King and Flinders Islands. (The Mercury, Friday February 2, page 2). He announced that the funding would mean an extra Biosecurity Officer on each island.
Over the last several years we’ve been campaigning with members about the lack of resources for Biosecurity Tasmania workers to do their jobs properly, with incursions like Blueberry and Myrtle Rust, Norwegian Salmon, Victorian Gecko, a Giant Panda Snail, and German cockroaches. Over the years Members have undertaken industrial action in response to the lack of funding and resources.
While additional Officers on Flinders and King Islands are welcome it’s not enough to deal with increased demand. The CPSU has asked all parties for an additional 20 FTE biosecurity officers and are hopeful this ask will be addressed in election promises.