5 June 2023

Opposition says cuts to biosecurity in Cape will backfire

| Matt Nicholls
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The location of the Cape York Biosecurity Centre was strategically picked for its geographical advantages.

The location of the Cape York Biosecurity Centre was strategically picked for its geographical advantages.

THE Palaszczuk government’s decision to close the Cape York Biosecurity Centre without notice or consultation has been met with fierce opposition from both the Liberal National Party and Katter’s Australian Party.

As revealed by Cape York Weekly, the Coen facility will be shut at the end of the month.

Gympie MP Tony Perrett is the LNP’s spokesperson for agriculture and said the state government was eroding Queensland’s biosecurity measures.

“It is unfathomable the Palaszczuk government is closing biosecurity facilities at such a critical time,” he said.

“The Palaszczuk Labor government is overcome with chaos and crisis and it’s now eroding Queensland’s biosecurity measures, too.

“The fact the issues surrounding tenure couldn’t be resolved also shows complete mismanagement by the Minister.

“The Labor Member for Cook is failing to fight for the community she claims to represent.

“Weasel words from the Palaszczuk government aren’t going to do anything about safeguarding the cape from future biosecurity outbreaks as a result of this closure.

“This facility must remain open in its existing form or in a similar nearby location.”

KAP Member for Hill Shane Knuth said he was appalled by the decision.

“I am ropable about the closure of the biosecurity centre at Coen and the impact this could have on agriculture and livestock operations throughout the Cape and the Atherton Tablelands,” he said.

“Agriculture is booming on the Atherton Tablelands and the last thing we need is a relaxation on biosecurity in the region.

“We have recently had a massive scare on the spread of foot and mouth disease, with many in the dairy, beef and livestock sectors expressing huge concerns, due to the devastation this could cause to their industries.

“The port of Weipa is a critical gateway to the Asia Pacific region and, if anything, we should be beefing up our biosecurity vigilance, not closing existing centres.”

Both parties have urged the state government to reconsider the closure.

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