The news of an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in livestock in Bali has sent a shiver down the spine of every livestock producer in the country.
Combined with ongoing fruit fly outbreaks in the Riverland and the outbreak of Varroa mite in NSW, it is a stark reminder of the importance of Australia’s biosecurity protocols.
With July school holidays upon us and international travel resuming following pandemic closures, the return of thousands of Aussie travellers from Bali over the next few weeks poses a serious threat to our livestock industry.
An FMD outbreak in Australia would have a catastrophic impact on our nation with modelling showing that it could cost our economy up to $80 billion and damage our clean, green reputation.
The shock waves would be felt in every regional economy across the nation.
The Federal Labor Government’s response to the outbreak in Bali to date falls a long way short of addressing the current risks faced by Australian producers.
The Federal Government must step up biosecurity protocols and ensure it implements preventative measures relative to the risk FMD poses.
At the very minimum, all travellers from Indonesia and any other FMD hotpots must have their footwear appropriately treated.
In the circumstances and given the risks all measures should be under serious consideration.
Federal Member for Barker