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Government to blame for the latest Blueberry rust outbreak

  • Blueberry rust outbreak the result of the Government’s mismanagement
  • Government has failed to learn from its mistakes
  • The Minister must quarantine Biosecurity Tasmania from $450 million budget cuts

The Hodgman Minority Government’s mismanagement of biosecurity in Tasmania is to blame for the latest outbreak of Blueberry rust in Tasmania.

Shadow Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries and Water, Shane Broad, said the Government had failed to learn from its mistakes.

“This is the fourth major outbreak of Blueberry rust in Tasmania in recent times and also comes after an extensive parliamentary inquiry into the disease – but what has the Government learned? Absolutely nothing,” Dr Broad said.

“We know staff at Biosecurity Tasmania are under pressure and this has been compounded by the fact the Government has to redirect staff to deal with last year’s fruit fly outbreak.

“This Government has an appalling track record of protecting Tasmania’s agricultural sector from pests and diseases and it is clear its mismanagement of biosecurity in Tasmania is to blame for this latest outbreak.

“The Minister must give a guarantee that it will quarantine Biosecurity Tasmania from its savage $450 million budget cuts as Tasmania’s agricultural sector can’t afford to manage yet another major threat.

“Tasmanians deserve to have confidence that a rigorous system in place to protect their business and their environment.

“I urge Tasmanians to be vigilant and check their blueberry plants for the disease and report anything suspicious to Biosecurity Tasmania.”

Shane Broad MP
Shadow Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries and Water