(QldGovSpin) Stronger laws to protect crops passed

Submitted by Editor on Wed, 29/09/2004 - 18:14

State Parliament has unanimously passed Queensland Government amendments strengthening its laws to protect crops in the wake of the citrus canker disease outbreak.

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Primary Industries & Fisheries, Henry Palaszczuk
primaryindustries@cabinet.qld.gov
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29/09/04

Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries Minister Henry Palaszczuk said the amendments to the Plant Protection Act 1989 were identified as critical during the response to the citrus canker detection on a single Emerald district property in July.

"The response to the citrus canker outbreak was superb and I commend the officers of the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (DPI&F) and industry for their efforts," Mr Palaszczuk said.

"However, the response to the outbreak was not without many challenges and there were areas of the current law which we believed needed to be strengthened."

The key amendments will:

* guarantee the State Government has the legislative support necessary to carry out treatment or destruction within a pest quarantine area;

* ensure that landowners of properties infested with the most serious pests and diseases cannot seek judicial review by way of injunctions or court hearings in order to prevent eradication and other emergency response activities;

* provide improved pest and disease surveillance powers to inspectors; and

* allow inspectors to access relevant movement records, wherever located, to trace the movements of potentially pest infested plant matter.

In addition, appropriate penalties have been put in place including doubling the maximum penalty for failing to comply with the provisions for the control of introduction of pests, control over spread of pest infestations, obstruction of an inspector and contravention of a direction given by an inspector to $150,000.

Media contact: Kirby Anderson 3239 3004 or 0418 197 350

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