Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Balonne Mayor joins FMD chorus

Balonne Mayor, Samantha O’Toole, has joined a growing local government chorus urging stronger border control efforts to combat the spread of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Lumpy Skin Disease into Australia.

She has joined a number of Mayors in asking the Federal Government to apply stringent border controls for travellers returning from Southeast Asia, which is currently battling an FMD outbreak.

Balonne Mayor, Samantha O’Toole.

“With central and western Queensland representing around one-fifth of the country’s total cattle production figures, there is a very real concern about the impact of these animal diseases on the economic and social wellbeing of our communities,” she said.

“Discussions at the most recent meeting of the Darling Downs and South West Council of Mayors (DDSWCOM) provided a clear indicator of the current feelings of unease across livestock producing areas.”

The Mayor said maintaining strong border controls to keep FMD and LSD out of Australia was the first and best line of defence.

“The Federal Government should be looking at the most stringent prevention efforts to safeguard the industry. We are working with neighbouring councils, regional and national industry groups and the LGAQ to lobby Ministers and senior government representatives to establish these safeguards.”

At a recent Balonne Shire Council meeting, Council formally agreed to submit a motion through the LGAQ Annual Conference in October that could see a united and coordinated approach to the Australian and Queensland Governments for greater prevention measures to be put in place.

“The motion we are lodging seeks an urgent approach to both levels of government for a coordinated response and focus on prevention and preparedness in the likelihood of an emergency biosecurity event,” said Mayor O’Toole.

“Further, that additional border control measures be implemented to ensure that the current outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease and Lumpy Skin Disease in Southeast Asia
does not reach Australian shores.

“Primary producers should also be strengthening their biosecurity management plans to avoid the potential for spread of FMD and LSD, and there are some good resources online that I urge our local farmers to take advantage of.”

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