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Kiwifruit package welcome but prevention needed

Damien O’Connor
Bio-security spokesperson


18 November 2010 Media Statement

Kiwifruit package welcome but prevention needed

Management of the Psa vine killing disease will be a huge task and government funding is welcome, says Labour’s bio-security spokesperson Damien O’Connor

“Labour is pleased that the Government is moving to fund a joint management programme with the Kiwifruit industry. However, there are still concerns that the National Government is being extremely short-sighted,” Damien O’Connor said.

“While we may never know how Psa entered New Zealand, we do know that the decision to reduce the number of staff working on the frontline of biosecurity leaves the multi-billion agricultural and horticultural industries more vulnerable.

“This week in Parliament Bio-Security Minister David Carter ruled out reinstating the 54 frontline biosecurity positions cut under his watch.

“I am concerned that the Minister is failing to recognise just how vulnerable to incursion from pests and diseases our primary industries are.

“The outbreak of Psa should have shown the Government that prevention of biosecurity incursions is a cheaper and more effective way of biosecurity management.

“The Government’s failure to recognise it was wrong to cut frontline biosecurity positions is extremely worrying,” Damien O’Connor said.


ENDS

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