Report backs biosecurity fears

Brad ThompsonThe West Australian
Report backs biosecurity fears
Camera IconReport backs biosecurity fears Credit: The West Australian

A damning Auditor-General's report has backed warnings from peak farming groups and unions about the growing risk of a biosecurity disaster in WA.

Auditor-General Colin Murphy found major holes in the management of plant and animal pests that already have a foothold in WA.

Mr Murphy called for urgent action to strengthen the biosecurity net, including a Statewide management plan for declared pests.

Community and Public Sector Union assistant secretary Rikki Hendon said the report vindicated the union's warnings about biosecurity cuts at the Department of Agriculture and Food WA.

Full-time animal biosecurity staff have been cut from 209 in 1989 to 84. The number of entomologists is down from 15 in 2008 to nine.

The report said there was limited monitoring and almost no enforcement of landowner responsibilities to control established pests.

Opposition MP Darren West said the admission was a cry for help from DAFWA.

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