Ballast water targeted in biosecurity Bill
AUSTRALIA’S biosecurity system was further strengthened this week, with the introduction of legislation that will provide additional safeguards, both by air and by sea, to protect our $60 billion agricultural industries.
Introduced into Parliament by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Barnaby Joyce, the Biosecurity Amendment (Ballast Water and Other Measures) Bill 2017 would provide additional powers to control disease carriers at Australia’s airports and seaports.
“Threats to our biosecurity can emerge today faster than ever before.
“The recent global outbreak of Zika virus, spread by mosquitoes, has shown us how important the control of disease-carrying pests is,” Mr Joyce said.
“This includes spraying insecticide on incoming aircraft and vessels to kill mosquitoes capable of carrying Zika virus as well as other disease-carrying vectors so they don’t establish populations in Australia.”
Mr Joyce said the Bill would also position Australia to ratify the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediment.
“Ballast water, which is water taken by ships before departure to improve the stability and discharged at the next port of call, is a threat to Australia’s biosecurity because plants and animals that live in the ocean are also picked up from the point of departure,” he said.