Senate biosecurity inquiry hearings wind up in Sydney and Hobart

Media Release |

The Federal Parliament’s Senate inquiry into stopping new invasive species will hold its final hearings in Sydney and Hobart early this week.

“So far the inquiry has heard that Australia’s environmental biosecurity has repeatedly failed over the past decade. CSIRO reports that each year 10-20 new plants, 2-4 new invertebrate pests and 10-14 plant diseases establish in Australia, the bulk of these posing threats to the environment,” Invasive Species Council CEO Andrew Cox said today.

“Despite this appalling record we do not seem capable of learning from past mistakes.

“In Tasmania we see a state government highly committed to strong biosecurity, yet a poor national biosecurity system is failing them.”

Witnesses in two days of hearings in Hobart and Sydney will reveal details about the poor preparations to combat deadly myrtle rust first detected in NSW and Australia’s flagging efforts to prevent devastating tramp ants invading northern Australia such as red fire ants and yellow crazy ants.

The Invasive Species Council, which has assembled over 200 pages of evidence and case studies and is seeking the inquiry’s support for 54 recommendations, will respond to questions in Sydney on Tuesday.

“With the backing of 30 conservation groups from across Australia, we believe that there is highly compelling evidence of the need to create much stronger biosecurity defences for the environment, of the same standard that is applied to agriculture” Mr Cox said.

Giving evidence at the Sydney hearing on Tuesday 11 November, to be held in the Macquarie Room, NSW Parliament, Macquarie St, Sydney from 9am to 4:30pm, will be:

  • CSIRO
  • Australian Museum
  • Invasive Species Council
  • Nursery and Garden Industry Association
  • NSW Natural Resources Commission
  • Zoo and Aquarium Association
  • James Cook University tramp ant research, Dr Lori Lach
  • UTS International law expert, Dr Sophie Riley

Giving evidence at the Hobart hearing on Monday 10 November, to be held in the Marina Room, Hobart Function and Convention Centre, 1 Elizabeth St, Hobart from 8:30am to 3pm, will be:

  • Biosecurity Tasmania
  • Wildlife Health Australia
  • Australian Network for Plant Conservation
  • Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association
  • Tasmanian Salmonoid Growers Association
  • Biosecurity risk expert, Richard Stoklosa
  • Consultant on myrtle rust, Anthony Cannon

More info

For further comment, contact Andrew Cox on 0438 588 040

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