Submitted by Editor on Sat, 02/10/2004 - 20:54

The following statement was released in Cairns this morning (Saturday, 2 October) by Selwyn Johnston, Independent Senate Candidate for Queensland...

Independent Senate Candidate for Queensland

Selwyn Johnston
Queensland Independent Network
Saturday 2 October 2004

"Agriculture Minister Warren Truss has announced to overhaul the way Australia’s quarantine decisions are made. This will have an immediate effect in that public comment on the risk assessment of various diseases will be reopened. These would include fire-blight in deciduous fruit trees, the plant-killing disease moko and black sigatoka in bananas."

"Part of this overhaul involves the government divesting itself of quarantine responsibility by recreating Biosecurity Australia as an 'authorised institution' separate from Government."

"What this means is that the problems that primary producers have had in the past with Biosecurity Australia will be magnified beyond belief. Primary producers will have no recourse to Government for decisions about the disease implications of imported primary produce."

"It further means that our banana producers will be in for a rough time on the reassessment of the disease risk on the importation of bananas from the Philippines. And it won't stop there. Pineapples, pigs and poultry are also 'at risk'."

"When you look through the weasel words of this most recent announcement you will find that the Coalition is simply maintaining course and speed through the quarantine deregulation fiasco. After making Biosecurity Australia a government agency, the next step was to make that agency independent of Government and this has now been achieved."

"What adds insult to injury is that it has been done not only in the run up to an election, but is proposed as a benefit to producers! How remote from an electorate can you get?"

"While we expect a certain level of deception from Government, the level of hypocrisy, or incompetence in this case, is simply profound. To strip primary producers of their plant disease protection is bad enough but to have it happen under the direction of the political party that is supposed to represent the bush, the National Party, is simply incomprehensible."

Selwyn Johnston can be contacted at either 07 4056 6057 or 0418 243652


Selwyn Johnston
Independent Senate Candidate for Queensland


Simply write the number '1' in the box located in column 'D', above the line, on the 'white' Senate Ballot Paper

CLICK HERE http://www.johnston-independent.com/htv.html#tkt FOR SAMPLE SENATE... HOW TO VOTE BALLOT PAPER
Contact Details:

WebSite: http://www.johnston-independent.com/

Telephone: +61 07 4056 6057
Facsimile: +61 07 4056 6058
Mobile: 0418 243 652
E-mail: ind@gil.com.au
Postal Address: PO Box 1919 Cairns FNQ 4870




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