The Turnbull Government appears complicit in a cover up of Tasmania’s fruit fly preparedness following revelation in today’s Senate Estimates Hearings.
Federal Member for Braddon Justine Keay said, “I arranged for Labor Senator Carol Brown to ask questions of Plant Health Australia officials regarding Tasmania’s fruit fly emergency.
“The answers revealed that last year Tasmania participated in a simulated exercise to test the states preparedness to deal with exotic fruit fly incursions.
“The exercise looked at how Tasmania may identify exotic fruit fly and the skills and abilities of the government to deal with an incursion.
“Incredibly the Commonwealth officials claimed to not know the results, what Tasmania was doing well if anything and what the shortcomings were.
“Tasmanian Deputy Premier Jeremy Rockliff needs to come clean on the results of this exercise.
“It is clear there has been a massive biosecurity failure and Tasmania’s horticulture industry has a right to know how ready Tasmania was?
“All the official would reveal is that the current fruit fly incursion is the Tasmanian Government’s responsibility shifting blame on to Jeremy Rockliff.
“Yet only last week Jeremy Rockliff said the issue was a “national system breakdown”
“While our farmers are suffering through this biosecurity emergency Jeremy Rockliff and the Commonwealth refuse to take any responsibility.
“It’s not good enough, the Tasmanian Liberals need to stop engaging in a blame game and actually stand up for Tasmania.”