The detection of viral foot and mouth fragments on an imported product coming into Australia is a wakeup call to the Labor Government.

The Labor Government is failing this basic test on bio security and it is time to toughen up and take control.

A single detection of Foot and Mouth Disease in Australia will close our access to international markets.

Two weeks ago, I and others in the Coalition called for foot mats to be introduced at international airports.  In response to the latest detections, the Australian Agriculture Minister Murray Watt has made an embarrassing backdown and finally introduced sanitised foot mats at international airports. A move more than two weeks overdue.  Over 15,000 Australians have returned to Australia from Indonesia in the past fortnight, that’s 15,000 people who haven’t walked over sanitising mats.

Farmers across my electorate are petrified.  In just eight weeks the Government has created a bio security crisis that has unnecessarily exposed the Australian farming sector to the potential for catastrophic losses.

We have a federal Agriculture Minister who is sleepwalking us into catastrophe. He is either procrastinating or prevaricating but either way, our red meat industry can not afford a minister on L plates.  It is time for Prime Minister Albanese to stand up and lead.  He said before the election, leaders take responsibility, that is what they do.  Well, right now this nation and our red meat producers need a Prime Minister who is prepared to stand up before it’s too late.