Reform opportunity squandered as NSW Government ignores key recommendations on weed control

MEDIA RELEASE – 4 September 2014

The Greens NSW spokesperson on agriculture Jeremy Buckingham today said that the NSW Government could squander an important reform opportunity when it came to stopping the spread of environmental and agricultural weeds, with the Baird Government ignoring key recommendations made by the Natural Resources Commission’s review of weed management in NSW.

“It is alarming that, despite the annual cost of weeds to agriculture and the public being about $1.8 billion in NSW alone, the NSW Government has refused to provide the independence and regulatory teeth necessary to ensure that we have an effective approach to preventative weed control,” Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham said.

“The Greens are calling on the government to reconsider their refusal to implement a ‘permitted list’ approach to the sale of plants in NSW, as this is an essential step to ensuring that new and potentially devastating weeds do not infest our agricultural land and fragile ecosystems.

“Numerous reviews, including this latest, have made it clear that for a biosecurity regime to be effective it must be independent of government and scientifically based.  So it is concerning that the government has chosen not to establish an independent State Weeds Committee with statutory powers to enforce compliance.

“The Greens have long campaigned for both public and private land managers to have equal responsibilities when it comes to weeds and we are pleased that the government has adopted this approach.

“We cannot continue to tinker at the edges, the Natural Resources Commission have recommended wholesale reform and the government should not squander this opportunity to stop the spread of invasive weeds,” Mr Buckingham said.

Contact: Max Phillips 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916

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