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Monday, 21 March 2011
Page: 1309

Senator BOB BROWN (Leader of the Australian Greens) (4:30 PM) —Madam Acting Deputy President, I seek leave to make a short statement.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT —Leave is granted for two minutes.

Senator BOB BROWN —The Australian Greens support this motion and we support greater effort to eradicate the Asian honey bee. It is something that we may well come to regret if we do not increase the effort nationally, as Senator Colbeck has said, to eradicate this pest before it extends way beyond the limits, which the motion states, of the vicinity of Cairns. Repeatedly in this nation we see pests being introduced and establishing, and it is costing a lot of money to attempt to eradicate them with the effort then being given up. The on-flowing cost to agriculture, to the economy, to wellbeing and to the biodiversity of this country is enormous and sometimes incalculable. It is something about which the Greens believe there should be a far greater national sense of protection, allocation of funding and resistance to this ongoing invasion. We are beyond the period where invasions were deliberately produced as with the cane toad. We ought to be now able, with the much greater surveillance we have in the year 2011, to take on a pest like this and, with much greater national resources, ensure that every possibility to eradicate it is undertaken. We support the motion.

Question agreed to.