Under questioning in State Parliament today, Victorian Minister for Agriculture Gayle Tierney refused to make public the plans of what the Andrews Labor Government is doing to ensure that Victoria is prepared for a Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreak.
The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Melina Bath said Ms Tierney’s empty words are cold comfort for Victorian producers who are staring down the barrel of an outbreak which could decimate the state’s livestock industry.
“While the industry is searching for answers, the Andrews Labor Government reverts to type and hides behind spin, rather than delivering outcomes desperately needed by livestock producers,” Ms Bath said.
“Ms Tierney did not answer whether she would table a plan, instead insisting the Government has ‘acted to significantly improve Victoria’s preparedness in line with the recommendations’ of Operation Odysseus.
“Even a small FMD outbreak in Victoria would cost Victoria $5-6 billion, according to the CSIRO.”
Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Peter Walsh said that the time for spin is well and truly over.
With FMD on our doorstep, the Andrews Labor Government must implement the recommendations of Operation Odysseus and ensure that our industry is ready to fight any biosecurity incursion.
“Now more than ever, the industry and regional communities need certainty and we will continue to hold the Andrews Labor Government to account
“Victorian farmers need that information to be assured that Labor is doing everything possible to keep FMD out and to contain it if there is an outbreak,” Mr Walsh said.
“Our communities don’t want a repeat of the mistakes Labor made in COVID hotel quarantine and contact tracing.”