If you thought the Prime Minister would do anything to win Longman, you were wrong.
Because when it comes to fixing the nation’s biosecurity issues, he just won’t do that.
More than a week on from revelations that the federally controlled borders are woefully inadequate at keeping out foreign pests and disease, Malcolm Turnbull is yet to show his support for the prawn industry in Queensland.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the seat of Longman is at the frontline of the fight to stop the spread of White Spot Disease (WSD).
“Since the original outbreak of WSD we have not seen a positive test result in the Logan River and fingers crossed for those prawn farms down there that continues,” Mr Furner said.
“What we have seen though is several positive tests in the Deception Bay area off the coast of the electorate of Longman.
“This indicates that the federal government is continuing to let foreign disease enter our formerly pristine environment.”
Mr Furner said the burning issues of understaffed border resources and lax quarantine measures raised in the Four Corners program last Monday night, were yet to be acted on.
“Earlier this year Malcolm Turnbull and David Littleproud went on a phony and condescending ‘listening tour’ of regional Queensland, well I can tell you they’re definitely not listening now,” Mr Furner said.
“I wrote to Mr Littleproud on three separate occasions outlining my concerns and stating in no uncertain terms that action needs to be taken to protect our $20 billion agriculture industry in Queensland.
“I am yet to receive an answer.
“This is on top of letters sent by then State Agriculture Minister Tim Mulherin to the Federal Government more than 11 years ago, detailing at length the risks of continuing to allow uncooked green prawns in from overseas.
“This is a disgusting abrogation of responsibility by Malcolm Turnbull and he is putting the future of our seafood industry at risk with his inaction.”
Mr Furner said Queensland was a frontline state when it came to biosecurity and these serious issues were raised at the Agricultural Ministerial Advisory Council yesterday.
“Foreign incursions that pass through our porous borders have the potential to impact on every single farmer and primary producer in this state,” he said.
“There can be no more delays or buck passing from the Federal Government on this issue, we need action.”
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries
The Honourable Mark Furner