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Biosecurity Government Industry Agreements a major boost

12 December 2013

Biosecurity Government Industry Agreements a major boost

Winning Cabinet approval for any policy initiative is never easy so the efforts of Primary Industries Minster, the Hon Nathan Guy with Government Industry Agreements (GIA), must be acknowledged for the way it will boost biosecurity readiness and response.

“GIA’s are a positive development for biosecurity,” says Dr William Rolleston, Federated Farmers biosecurity spokesperson.

“Cabinet approval is the roadmap forward and follows Federated Farmers leadership last year, which successfully unblocked five years of stalled talks by bringing together key industry players.

“For the general public, GIA’s are about ‘Readiness and Response,’ which are the two key planks to our biosecurity system.

“Biosecurity is ultimately a team effort. It is not about it being 100 percent ‘the government’s job’ and nor is it 100 percent the primary industries job either. We all have to play our part and that includes the eyes and ears of over four million New Zealanders.

“At the heart of the GIA is cost sharing between government and the relevant industry body. This gives those primary industry groups a seat at the table when decisions are being made in planning and also in the crucial early phases of a biosecurity response.

“A GIA would have made a material difference in the response to the Varroa Mite, which has devastated honeybees, to the more recent incursions of the Great White Butterfly and of course, PSA in Kiwifruit.

“By having a GIA in place, it gives the individual primary industry groups greater opportunity to work together and across the whole biosecurity system.

“Given exporters are rarely exacerbators, or those responsible for bringing pests or diseases into the country, we applaud the government agreeing to recognise this in their contribution to any GIA.

“For GIA’s to work, farmers and growers who will be consulted on them must see value in the proposition. This is for the formation of the GIA governance group and the operational agreements, which will set out the tasks and responsibilities for all involved.

“The Government needs to be congratulated for its patience and willingness to listen to the concerns of the industry so that a workable solution could finally be arrived at,” Dr Rolleston concluded.

ENDS

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