National Farmers' Federation

Statement on new Biosecurity Taskforce

Quotes attributable to NFF President Fiona Simson

Bringing together agriculture officials and other emergency management and response agencies is the right idea.

Industry has been planning for a Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) incursion for decades. We have a world class biosecurity system, and we have detailed and effective plans in place to manage an incursion, but that doesn’t mean we should be complacent.

If a serious disease such as FMD hits Australia, it won’t just be an industry problem. It’s appropriate to have a broad cross section of emergency management agencies come together to support the ongoing review and enhancement of our preparedness and response plans. 

It’s critical that this new Taskforce establish a strong working partnership with industry, including our established structures and formalised response frameworks.

Australia remains free from FMD and Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD), but these threats and others are right on our doorstep. Now is the time to check and re-check our preparedness, while ensuring every step is taken to keep these diseases off our shores.

The NFF continues to call for 100% screening of inbound passengers from high-risk areas such as Indonesia while we are in a period of increased risk.

In addition, we are seeking a long-term, sustainable funding pipeline for our world-class biosecurity systems and personnel. These systems have kept Australia FMD-free for 150 years, and must be given the funding and resources they need as the threat environment grows.