THE federal agriculture minister has slammed his NSW counterpart over biosecurity measures.
Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud was scathing in his assessment of NSW counterpart Adam Marshall for failing to demonstrate "genuine commitment" to biosecurity in the state, despite having criticised the federal government for not doing enough in the sphere earlier this year.
NSW was one of four states that pushed the federal government to have biosecurity put on the agenda of the recent agriculture ministers' meeting agenda, which was eventually approved and prompted an agreement from all agriculture ministers to provide their annual biosecurity expenditure from 2015-16 to 2020-21
However, Mr Littleproud said Mr Marshall had failed to give detail on what measures the NSW Government was taking when it comes to biosecurity, despite being among those requesting the response to current biosecurity incursions to be included on the agenda.
"Yet Minister Marshall has failed to fulfil a commitment he gave at that meeting of the states, territories, and Commonwealth to open up the books on NSW's biosecurity funding," Mr Littleproud said.
"The only numbers I can find in his letter are percentages that has no monetary reference, and I'm concerned they've also included their one-off mouse program from this year to cover up the detail," Minister Littleproud said.
"There's not a dollar figure to be found, just unsubstantiated expressions of funding.
"I call on Minister Marshall to come clean on his commitment to the national biosecurity system."
Mr Littleproud said despite the" criticism of the federal government's biosecurity measures it was set to "crack the $1 billion for biosecurity and export programs this financial year."
After going through the process, this agreement has been reneged on by Mr Marshall and your have to ask why if it was such an important issue to him earlier this year," he said.
"When it comes to biosecurity, I just hope Minister Marshall's talk isn't just yap."
NSW Agriculture Minister returned serve at his federal counterpart saying biosecurity was a top priority for the state government and pointing to several biosecurity programs the state government has recently funded.
"I've said it before, and I'll repeat it now for what won't be the last time: biosecurity is our number one agricultural priority. Whether it's invasive weeds or pests, the NSW Government is spending record amounts to tackle these problems," Mr Marshall told The Land.
"There was more than $1 billion in recurrent and new spending in this year's budget to allow farmers to focus on farming. In fact, we have doubled our biosecurity funding at a time when, in embarrassingly stark contrast, the Commonwealth is slashing its expenditure.
"Since 2015, we have jacked up our spend on biosecurity preparedness and incursions by 60 per cent, including more than $39 million this year alone. This allows us to clean up the breaches that come through the international border and ports managed by the Commonwealth.
"From knocking down feral pig populations to managing travelling stock routes and providing protection against priority weeds, NSW is leading the way in biosecurity. Anyone who says otherwise has rocks in their head.
"Neither farmers or I are interested in playing political football, they just want to get on with the job."
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