Greens say Nationals raise white flag on biosecurity

Greens NSW agriculture MP Jeremy Buckingham said the NSW Government has rushed through new biosecurity legislation.
Greens NSW agriculture MP Jeremy Buckingham said the NSW Government has rushed through new biosecurity legislation. Jerad Williams

THE NSW State governemnt has dropped at least seven species from the pest list as part of new biosecurity legislation, including the African big-headed ant which is one of the world's top 100 pests.

Greens NSW agriculture MP Jeremy Buckingham said the National Party "raised the white flag of surrender."

He said the government bungled the rushed bill leaving off 31 species accidently.

He said the government moved an amendment to the bill to remove the African big-headed ant, potato smut, bacterial wilt, eastern subterranean termite, European pine shoot moth, wheat aphid and sequoia pitch moth.

"The National Party have raised the white flag of surrender on biosecurity, reducing protections for the environment and agriculture, while doing so behind closed doors and without explanation," Mr Buckingham.

"I have contacted the minister's office and they have been unable to give an explanation as to why these pests have been delisted. It indicates just how ad hoc and rushed this legislation is.

"The Minister needs to come clean on exactly which pests are staying in the bill, which pests have been dropped and why, and exactly who has been consulted?

"The government is rushing through legislation that fails to provide transparency or accountability in the management of pests while at the same time demonstrating exactly why we need more transparency and accountability.

"Biosecurity is an area where something may not appear much of a problem until it becomes a really big problem. That's why it is important to have a strict biosecurity regime and devote adequate resources."

Topics:  biosecurity jeremy buckingham nsw government

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