Aust quarantine report given to government

October 4, 2008

A report into Australia's quarantine and biosecurity arrangements, ordered after the equine influenza outbreak, has been given to the government.

The report of a panel, chaired by Roger Beale, will be made public once the goverment has considered it and formulated a response.

The report is different to that of retired judge Ian Callinan, who explored the circumstances surrounding the outbreak of influenza in August last year. His report contained 28 recommendations to strengthen the country's quarantine arrangements.

Agriculture Minister Tony Burke appointed the panel in February this year to undertake an independent and wide-ranging review of quarantine and biosecurity - the first in more than a decade.

The panel spent considerable time talking with farmers, importers and exporters, transport operators, governments, environmental groups and other interested parties to get a full range of ideas on Australia's arrangements.

It held 170 meetings and received 220 submissions.

"I'd like to thank panel members for their hard work and all those who took the time to make a submission to the review," Burke said.

"The report delivers on a key election commitment and shows we are serious about maintaining the strongest possible defences to protect local agricultural and livestock industries, our economy and our export markets."

Roger Beale was joined by panel members Dr Jeff Fairbrother, Andrew Inglis and David Trebeck in undertaking the review.