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Urgent action needed on biosecurity

Shane Ardern
National Party Biosecurity Spokesman

2 November 2005

Urgent action needed on biosecurity

National’s Biosecurity spokesman, Shane Ardern, says biosecurity is a disaster that looks like getting worse under the new Minister.

He is commenting on Jim Anderton’s first speech as Biosecurity Minister yesterday, when he said ‘no incursion response will ever enjoy a 100% chance of success’.

“It sounds as though he has hoisted the white flag after only a week in the job.

“Is he trying to tell us that the spraying programme to eradicate the Painted Apple Moth and the Asian Gypsy Moth were unsuccessful? Does this mean the Saltmarsh Mosquito will continue to spread?

“Perhaps he meant ‘no incursion response under this Government’.

“We obviously cannot rely on him to clean up the mess left by his predecessor.

“This Minister must realise that more studies and more reports, or him talking about castles, knights and sieges won’t stop these pests.

“We need better checks on imported vehicles and machinery, more action on marine biosecurity, and deportation for visitors and a higher level instant fine for those who flout our biosecurity laws.

“We also need pest management strategies in place before incursions occur. We failed to stop Didymo and Sea Squirt, but we can do a better job in stopping further incursions.

“Our economy depends on how effective our biosecurity defences are, and right now, under this Minister, things are not looking too reassuring,” says Mr Ardern.

ENDS

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