Minister still late to respond to calls for food ban
The Honorable David Littleproud, MP
September 7, 2022
The late announcement of an import ban on meat products for personal use from all countries affected by foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) shows that the federal government continues to be undecided in the face of the foot-and-mouth disease crisis in Indonesia.
Nationals Leader and Shadow Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said it was a step forward in protecting our biosecurity, but Nationals had called for a simple ban on returning passengers from Indonesia carrying food since July 22.
“The Minister has once again been slow to make a decision and has shown a lack of understanding of the need for speed due to the nature of the threat,” Mr Littleproud said.
“The nationals made this call following a briefing from the Department and because the risk profile changed once foot and mouth disease arrived in Bali due to the large number of passengers returning to Australia.
“We were fired, the minister then admitted that the ministry was considering such a ban and now we have a ban coming. Who makes the decisions in this government?”
Mr Littleproud said it took an average of six weeks for the minister to make a decision and it was clear the minister’s three-pronged approach was being worked out as it went.
“This is another example of history repeating itself,” Mr Littleproud said.
“The minister said floor mats at our airports were absolute shit only to introduce them weeks later.
“He said that a million vaccines were sent to Indonesia, but they kind of took almost seven weeks to get there.
“The Minister clearly does not have a good understanding of the implications of these risks and is not prepared to show leadership, make bold decisions or act quickly.
“We are still calling for the introduction of 3D X-ray technology to help with baggage screening, for the government to provide $20 million in funding for traceability grants, and to establish a national livestock gene bank. .”