In recent Parliamentary Estimates hearings Labor Agriculture Minister Mark Furner embarrassingly failed to articulate when the promised, and now overdue, cattle tick line review would begin, raising questions around the government’s commitment to this serious issue.*
Liberal National Party Shadow Agriculture Minister Tony Perrett blasted the government for sitting on its hands and failing to properly resource biosecurity measures around cattle tick line enforcement in Queensland.
"Instead of announcing the overdue review, all we have seen is the vague commitment of roadshows with AgForce to start in August," said Mr Perrett.
"Well August is already here and we still don’t have details on when and where these ‘listening’ opportunities will take place.
"The most frustrating thing about this entire process is that we know Labor’s Minister has been sitting on the details now for weeks, but continues to keep graziers in the dark.
"As a grazier and landholder in the ‘ticky’ area, I know firsthand the increased time, hassle and cost associated with managing cattle across the tick line, so I understand people’s passion about this issue."
Mr Perrett said recent reports of tick infestations in ‘clean’ or previously tick-free areas highlight worrying gaps in Biosecurity Queensland’s approach to policing the current tick line.
"If the Minister is fair dinkum about having a tick line then it’s about time he made sure it’s being properly policed and resourced," he said.
"Tick lines should be bread and butter business for the Ag Department, but under this city-centric Labor Government the real issues facing our agriculture sector are ignored."
*page 20 estimates Hansard: https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/hansard/2018/2018_07_25_EstimatesSDC.pdf