Shorten wrong on Inspector General of Biosecurity
19 February 2015
Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said today I must admit I waited for Mr Shorten’s press conference with great anticipation, believing something substantive was going to be announced – instead I got an announcement about something that never happened.
The Coalition Government’s Biosecurity Bill 2014 will ensure that the role of the Inspector-General of Biosecurity will continue to provide important scrutiny of Australia’s biosecurity processes and procedures.
Despite claims from Labor, the Coalition Government has long supported the vital role of the Inspector General of Biosecurity and will continue to do so.
As the Minister for Agriculture stated in his second reading speech to the Parliament on 27 November 2014:
The Biosecurity Bill also creates powers to enable information gathering to review the biosecurity system. It is intended that these powers will be used by the Inspector-General of Biosecurity.
These powers are enshrined in the legislation currently before the Parliament, already passed by the House of Representatives and supported by Labor.
Additionally, in summing up the debate in the House of Representatives, the Government re-confirmed that the role of the Inspector General of Biosecurity will continue to be an important part of the biosecurity system.
The Inspector-General of Biosecurity will continue to be independent of the Department of Agriculture and report directly to the Minister for Agriculture.
The Biosecurity Bill 2014 Explanatory Memorandum can be found here, and the Minister’s second reading speech can be found here.