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Hawker urges stakeholders to contribute to quarantine review.

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Federal Member for Wannon

Hamilton Office 190 Gray St, HAMILTON VIC 3300 Warrnambool Office 73 Kepler St WARRNAMBOOL VIC 3280 Freecall 1300 131 692 E W

Federal Member for Wannon

20 February 2008


Federal Member for Wannon, David Hawker, is urging Western Victorians to have their say in a new comprehensive, independent review of Australia’s quarantine and biosecurity arrangements.

"Australia has always made a concerted effort to make sure that our quarantine and biosecurity services are up to scratch. The importance of these measures was highlighted during the equine influenza outbreak towards the end of last year,” Mr Hawker said.

“This new independent review will consider the appropriateness, effectiveness and efficiency of our quarantine and biosecurity arrangements. It will also evaluate current arrangements to ensure we have the appropriate level of protection consistent with our international obligations; look at the adequacy of the consultation and review processes currently in place; and consider other important quarantine reviews,” he said.

The review panel will specifically examine:

• The functions of the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) and Biosecurity Australia; • The effectiveness of import and export inspection and certification; and

• The scope and adequacy of the current animal and plant quarantine arrangements.

Mr Hawker said the inquiry will be headed up by Mr Roger Beale AO, a former Secretary of the Department of Environment and Heritage. He will be assisted in that task by Mr Andrew Inglis AM, Mr David Trebeck and Dr Jeffory Fairbrother AM.

“Mr Beale has indicated that there will be wide-ranging opportunities for the community to participate in the review,” Mr Hawker said.

“I strongly urge interested individuals, local businesses and organisations to consider making a submission.

“We are in a world of increased international movements and, in so many ways, the world itself is getting smaller, which has particular challenges for our biosecurity system.

“We need to maintain our biodiversity, protect public health and ensure our primary industries are not further burdened by pests and diseases, whether it be outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease in the United Kingdom, avian influenza throughout many parts of the world or new diseases such as SARS.”

For further information on how to make a submission contact Mr Hawker’s office on 1300 131 692 (local call).

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Media contact: Jane Templeton (02) 6277 4270