DESPITE the Northern Territory government having three years, with a six-month extension, to meet the biosecurity requirements for the Port of Darwin, it has failed to hand the work in on time.
The Federal Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said biosecurity is not to be taken lightly, and states and territories must meet the Australian standards. “No operator within the Port of Darwin has demonstrated compliance with the standard for non-commercial vessels,” Minister Littleproud said.
It has been made clear to the Northern Territory government the decision would be made on its behalf if it didn’t meet the December deadline for biosecurity standards. “Leaving gaps in Australia’s biosecurity is not an option,” he said.
“There is no exemption.
“Australia’s agricultural industries provide an important source to the nation’s wealth, as well as to the livelihoods of those on the land and the food that ends up on our tables.“It could all come crashing down if we don’t protect valuable industries from pests and diseases.
“With African swine fever to Darwin’s north, it would be foolish in the extreme to have a biosecurity hole in the Port of Darwin. “The Northern Territory government has had ample time to do the work and should be embarrassed it hasn’t.
“As a result, it gets an ‘F’ for failure.”