Cattle Council of Australia (CCA) is calling on the Federal Government to proceed with an increase to biosecurity funding after the department shelved the Onshore Biosecurity Levy.

The Department of Agriculture, Water Resources and the Environment last week announced the levy would not go ahead.

Cattle Council CEO Travis Tobin said the Federal Government should find a new and fair way to increase biosecurity funding.

“Our biosecurity system shouldn’t fall over just because the levy did,” Mr Tobin said.

“The levy was meant to provide another $325 million over three years to protect our borders on top of what’s already spent, and that extra money should still be invested in biosecurity.

“We’re not worried about where the money comes from, so long as it’s fair.

“Everyone benefits from good biosecurity and our system should be second-to-none.

“Annually, more than 1.8 million sea cargo consignments, 41 million air cargo consignments, 152 million international mail items and 21 million passengers arrive in Australia, and numbers are growing every year.

“Biosecurity protects the health and wellbeing of everyone in the country.

“It ensures Australians have access to healthy, nutritious and affordable foods such as grass-fed beef.

“This system protects Australia’s $19 billion beef industry that employs people in both regional and metropolitan areas.

“Good biosecurity also protects our way of life by keeping pests such as fire ants out of the country.

“Australians should be able to go to the footy or for a picnic without being stung by invasive insects.

“Our message to government is to find the money, secure our beef industry and keep our way of life safe.”

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