AGRICULTURE INDUSTRY, BIOSECURITY THREATS
17th August 2022
I rise to speak on the important issue of biosecurity for my electorate and for the state generally. Specifically, I want to talk about the threat of foot-and-mouth disease and lumpy skin disease to our agricultural sector.
I want to thank the farmers who alerted me immediately not long after the federal election and my staff of Dan, Jo and Lachlan who reacted immediately. We were able to pull up resources from key stakeholders and organise a meeting at the Belli hall to talk with biosecurity officers from DAF. The forum focused on the biosecurity challenges facing primary producers in my electorate of Nicklin—which are the current global outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease and lumpy skin disease, both of which remain so far undetected in the country thanks to the current response. I thank the federal government and DPI for getting into Indonesia, which is the source of the outbreak. I also welcome the quarantine measures that were implemented at points of entry around the country.
I was pleased to have in attendance multiple officers from Biosecurity Queensland. I urge all members in regions and rural areas to reach out to the department and arrange similar meetings in their electorates. I know how hard it is to get farmers together due to the nature of their business, but those who can attend will quickly pass the information on to their neighbours—the old ‘bush telegraph’. There are also great resources available online from the government and industry bodies. If people have some spare time, I highly recommend they check out Beef Central and Dairy Australia. They have some really interesting articles and resources people should have available in their homes.
I know that people in the primary industry are not the only people affected in my electorate. There are a lot of hobby farmers who have cattle, goats, pigs, sheep and camelids such as alpacas. All of these animals are affected by this disease. I encourage them all to visit the DAF website. They have an eHub and resources on how to make a biosecurity plan. There are guidelines and you can also download the sign to have at the entrance to your property that says you have a biosecurity plan in place.
In summary, I wanted to thank the federal government in particular for containing it. There are seven strains of foot-and-mouth disease and the vaccines have to be appropriate to each strain. It is a little altruistic having teams of vets in Indonesia checking cattle just in case it crosses the border. We are concerned about lumpy skin because that is a vector-borne disease—that is, from mosquitoes, and someone referred to Japanese encephalitis. I am proud to be a representative of this government. I and my team will always be proactive in any instance that our community may be threatened.