Biose­cu­rity ‘es­sen­tial’ now

Clutha Leader - - FRONT PAGE -

mil­lion and $870 mil­lion - to erad­i­cate the dis­ease, was well over and above the agreed cost share of 12 per cent out­lined in the ex­ist­ing Gov­ern­ment In­dus­try Agree­ment (GIA), Walker said. He has been ad­vo­cat­ing for faster res­o­lu­tion to com­pen­sa­tion claims and said the ex­pec­ta­tion was ‘‘an­other blow to the re­gions’’.

Prior to Prime Min­is­ter Jacinda Ardern’s slam­ming on Tues­day of the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment’s ‘‘shame­ful’’ un­der-in­vest­ment in biose­cu­rity for the dis­ease spread­ing to Waikato, O’Con­nor hit back at Na­tional’s han­dling of the ini­tial out­break, claim­ing that it did ‘‘ab­so­lutely noth­ing’’.

‘‘They didn’t act on the in­cur­sion and they didn’t help pre­vent it by up­grad­ing the Biose­cu­rity Act or fix­ing the Na­tional An­i­mal Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and Trac­ing sys­tem (NAIT).

‘‘Since then we have made the dif­fi­cult de­ci­sions, which is our job.

‘‘That in­cluded set­ting up checks at Cook Strait, start­ing bulk milk test­ing, mak­ing a tough de­ci­sion to cull all in­fected prop­er­ties, set­ting up a ded­i­cated re­cov­ery team on the ground, boost­ing the com­pen­sa­tion claims team, and re­cently fund­ing $85 mil­lion to con­tinue the re­sponse, with $11m of that from in­dus­try.’’

He said any op­tion in­clud­ing rapid erad­i­ca­tion, phased erad­i­ca­tion, longterm man­age­ment or stop­ping Gov­ern­ment as­sis­tance ‘‘will cost money and it must be a fair deal for all’’ and also ‘‘a fair part­ner­ship’’.

‘‘We would be in a dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tion to­day if the pre­vi­ous Gov­ern­ment had not taken a hands-off ap­proach to biose­cu­rity. We care about the pri­mary sec­tor, our ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties and New Zealand’s econ­omy, so we are hands-on on biose­cu­rity.’’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.