Biosecurity check gains $ 371 million enhancement

Biosecurity controls will be strengthened to protect Australian agriculture from catastrophic diseases and pests.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will travel to Rockhampton’s Beef 2021 on Tuesday, announcing $ 371 million in funding a week before the federal budget.

“Australia’s biosecurity system protects $ 42 billion inbound tourism, $ 53 billion in agricultural exports, and 1.6 million Australian jobs across the supply chain,” Morrison said.

“This investment aims to build a protective ring around Australia to protect not only our industry, but the local and regional communities that depend on it. Risk will never be zero. No, but we promise to mitigate the risk as much as possible. “

This package includes $ 34.6 million for research and improved field tools to better understand how pests and diseases enter the country, and $ 96.8 million for offshore treatment provider warranty programs. It is included.

Pre-border biosecurity screening technology testing of inbound and outbound passengers will be funded at $ 19.5 million.

Technologies for improving the specific speed and accuracy of border pests and diseases will also be enhanced at a cost of $ 25.5 million.

Preventive measures for African swine fever will increase by $ 58.6 million.

Agriculture Minister David Little Proud said the reforms recommended by an independent biosecurity inspector general would help manage the unique public health risks posed by passengers and crew on arriving international vessels.

“We are investing in technical solutions to prevent biosecurity threats from Australia, including through new screening technologies for people and things at the border,” he said.

The University of Melbourne’s recent Center for Biosecurity Risk Analysis and Modeling Excellence has set the net present value of biosecurity systems at $ 314 billion over 50 years.

This means a return on investment of $ 30 for every $ 1 spent on biosecurity.

Last year, the government dumped a problematic biosecurity tax that was supposed to raise $ 325 million by taxing sea transport.

This was a 2018 budget announcement, but shipping companies and importers have successfully lobbyed for two versions of the levy.

Recently, traces of foot-and-mouth disease and African swine fever have been found in intercepted plots of illegally imported pork.

The Agricultural Group has lobbied for a budget package of about $ 400 million over four years.

Tony Mahar, CEO of National Farmers’ Federation, said such efforts are aimed at creating risks and building confidence in trading partners that Australia is disease-free.