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Cane toad reminder of importance of biosecurity

Hon Damien O’Connor
Biosecurity spokesperson

26 November 2009 Media Statement
Cane toad reminder of importance of biosecurity

The discovery of a cane toad in Queenstown is an acute reminder of the fragility of our Biosecurity system, Labour’s Biosecurity spokesperson, Damien O’Connor says.

“During this year’s Budget the National Government cut $2 million in funding and reduced frontline staff numbers by 50, putting at risk an already stretched system,” Damien O’Connor said.

“We need more visitors from Australia, but unwanted hitchhikers such as cane toads and fruit flies would cost our economy billions.

“Last year there were 66 incursions from new unwanted risk organisms into our 100% Pure New Zealand and the cuts in this year’s budget were a ridiculous response from this National government.

“If John Key is serious about growing our economic opportunities from increasing numbers of Australian visitors he should fund Biosecurity properly and protect us from the unwanted Australian pests that could seriously damage our economy,” Damien O’Connor said.


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