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Government receives report on quarantine and biosecurity systems.

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The Hon. Tony Burke MP Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Government receives report on quarantine and biosecurity systems

30 September 2008 DAFF08/132B

The chair of the independent panel reviewing Australia’s quarantine and biosecurity arrangements, Roger Beale AO, today submitted his report to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke.

Mr Burke appointed the panel in February this year to undertake an independent and wide-ranging review of Australian quarantine and biosecurity - the first in more than a decade.

The panel spent considerable time talking with farmers, importers and exporters, transport operators, governments, environmental groups and other interested parties to get a full range of ideas on Australia’s quarantine and biosecurity arrangements.

It held 170 meetings and received 220 submissions.

The report is a critical step in ensuring Australia’s quarantine and biosecurity system is as effective as possible.

“The Rudd Government recognises the importance of a rigorous system to minimise the risk of pests and disease - particularly as globalisation and climate change increase these threats,” Mr Burke said.

“I’d like to thank panel members for their hard work and all those who took the time to make a submission to the review.

“The report delivers on a key election commitment and shows we are serious about maintaining the strongest possible defences to protect local agricultural and livestock industries, our economy and our export markets.”

Mr Burke will consider the report in detail before releasing it and providing a Government response.

Mr Beale was joined by panel members Dr Jeff Fairbrother AM, Andrew Inglis AM and David Trebeck in undertaking the comprehensive review.