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NFF urges support for Biosecurity Bill 2014

18 March 2015

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) today welcomed Biosecurity Bill 2014. The Bill, now being considered by the Senate, will strengthen disease control measures to better manage the risk of diseases entering and spreading in Australia. It is supported by four other bills, designed to help ensure smooth transition from the Quarantine Act 1908.

Ron Cullen, Chairman of the NFF Biosecurity Taskforce, appealed to Parliament to pass the Bill.

“The enhancement of Australia’s biosecurity capability is critical to ensuring that Australian agriculture remains a significant contributor to the economy and local communities,” Mr Cullen said.

“Biosecurity Bill 2014 is one of the most fundamental and significant initiatives in this area for over a hundred years,” Mr Cullen said.

“It’s the biggest development since the commencement of the Quarantine Act 1908, which it will replace.

“We welcome the concept and the functions of an Inspector-General of Biosecurity, as outlined in the Bill, which recognises the key underlying principles of the position: independence from government, an appropriate degree of separation from the Director-General of Biosecurity, transparency, and a firm scientific basis.

“There should be no further delays in passing this important Bill.

“The NFF is comfortable with the position of the Inspector-General as outlined in the Bill, although we know there are varying views on this subject.

“We look forward to working with the Government on further strengthening Australia’s biosecurity through the development of supporting regulations, and will be monitoring the Bill’s progress.”

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