House debates

Tuesday, 2 August 2022

Statements by Members

Tasmania: Agriculture, Biosecurity: Foot-And-Mouth Disease

1:50 pm

Photo of Gavin PearceGavin Pearce (Braddon, Liberal Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Health, Aged Care and Indigenous Health Services) Share this | | Hansard source

The latest Tasmanian Agribusiness Insights Report has confirmed that our state's agricultural sector continues to be world leading. Farming directly employs 7½ thousand Tasmanians and contributes around $3½ billion to our Tasmanian gross state product. This report has also noticed that our agricultural exporters have again had a stellar 12 months. Agriculture forms the backbone, the lifeblood and the heart of many local communities in the electorate of Braddon, and it is without doubt that the No. 1 issue that I'm hearing loud and clear from our agriculture sector is the biosecurity issue. Keeping our strait and our nation free from animal pests, diseases and pathogens is important. It's important to note that you cannot have a small-scale outbreak of these diseases. It's an absolute thing. Just one case of foot-and-mouth would result in us losing our entire export market access—cattle, dairy, chicken, pigs, goats, wool and many more. For a nation that currently exports around 70 per cent of all its animal produce to over 160 countries, the cost would be well in excess of $80 billion over 10 years. Braddon's farmers are amongst the best in the world at what they do. They are deeply protective of our food production future. What our farmers are so desperately seeking is an insurance from this government on biosecurity measures that will protect the future of food production in the great state of Tasmania.