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LNP axes biosecurity levy jeopardising farmers with imported disease

Federal member for Kennedy in Far North Queensland, Bob Katter said the next person to talk about Australia’s ‘clean, green image’ should be shot by the firing squad, after the Agriculture Minister axed a biosecurity levy designed to protect Australian farmers from pests and diseases.

“We are a net importer of fruit and vegetables, I repeat a net importer, and we are bringing in fruit and vegetables from across the world,” he said.

“If you have no border protection and check only 0.1% of the products coming in (that’s one grape in a thousand), then you are hardly clean and green.

“Ultimately every single disease foreign countries have, we will have.

“This has proven to be true in recent times with the introduction of noxious pests and diseases like the Fall Armyworm, banana-destroying Panama disease, and the destruction of prawn farming from White Spot disease.

“Quarantine has virtually been abolished in Australia; it is farcical.”

The KAP policy is to implement a 10% charge on everything coming into the country.

“That is to pay for the necessary policing of a country with one of the world’s largest coastlines,” he said.

“We have no protection currently.  That levy would boost our biosecurity operation.”