July 28, 2008

A discussion paper over biosecurity has been released in Queensland and residents are being invited to have their say.

"With the devastation caused by equine influenza still fresh in our minds, we want all Queenslanders to have a say on how to better protect the state from pests, diseases and invasive species, said Primary Industries Minister Tim Mulherin.

The community is being encouraged to have input into ensuring Queensland is protected from pests and diseases.

Submissions on the "Queensland Biosecurity" paper closes on September 30.

"I urge all stakeholders to put forward their views on biosecurity in our state," Mulherin said.

Queensland's agricultural sector is worth about $A12.5 billion a year, about half of which is exported.

"Biosecurity has the potential to impact on all our lives - whether it relates to the safety of our food, the welfare of animals, controlling weeds in our backyard, protecting ecosystems and our world-famous flora and fauna crucial to much of our tourism industry and safeguarding our reputation as a 'clean and green' food supplier," he said.

"At the moment we are seeing the impact that an exotic animal disease can have on human health, with confirmation of the rare Hendra virus in Brisbane's bayside and a property near Proserpine."

He said the state's Primary Industries department has delivered biosecurity services for more than 150 years, and "we all need to work together to ensure we can respond to the ever increasing risks".

"This discussion paper is an opportunity for all stakeholders, industry groups and individuals to put their views and ideas forward on how to ensure Queensland has world-leading biosecurity systems and I encourage everyone to have their say."

The discussion paper 'Queensland Biosecurity' is available from www.dpi.qld.gov.au.