The federal government has given the Australian community a once-in-a-century opportunity to have a say in new quarantine and biosecurity legislation now open for public comment.
“Australia’s biosecurity preparedness and response capabilities must be improved to better protect the environment from the next cane toad or prickly pear,” Invasive Species Council CEO John DeJose said today.
“This is a once-in-a-century chance for Australians to advise the government about how strongly they feel that the environment should be better protected against exotic weeds, pests and diseases.
“It is disappointing that the proposed new Biosecurity Bill will not pick up key recommendations of the 2008 Beale Review aimed at strengthening our national biosecurity system,” Mr DeJose said.
“Given the increasing threats posed to native animals and plants by invasive species, we need to do much better in the area of environmental biosecurity to stop the decline of nature.
“That is why the Invasive Species Council launched on 21 June our proposal for a new environmental biosecurity body – Environment Health Australia.
“Environment Health Australia would bring together the best minds from government, academia and most importantly the community to develop strategic solutions to deliver the better biosecurity outcomes our environment so sorely needs.
“By closely monitoring Australia’s invasive species threats, Environment Health Australia can help make sure the new biosecurity legislation, along with necessary regulations and policies, are properly implemented to better protect the nature of Australia into the future.
“The Invasive Species Council will make a detailed submission on the proposed legislation once all chapters are made available.
“We encourage all Australians to have their say on this important new legislation.”