There have been reports in the media today that the biosecurity protection of Tasmania is under threat.
I want to make it very clear the Biosecurity Act 2015 does not change the protection from plant and animal pests and diseases provided to Tasmania's producers.
Taking account of regional differences continues to apply when the new legislation commences on 16 June 2016.
In fact, the Coalition made a specific point of redrafting the legislation, which was proposed by the Labor Government in 2012, to explicitly include regional differences in the definition of biosecurity risk.
The process undertaken by the Coalition Government and the outcomes delivered in the Biosecurity Bill 2015 proves the Tasmanian Liberal Team always had Tasmania's best interests at heart. We were focused on getting the right outcome from the start of this process and we have succeeded.
In a statement made on 7 July 2014, I confirmed the importance of regional differences to Tasmania and noted I was 'particularly pleased action has been taken to recognise the unique circumstances of various parts of Australia. The Biosecurity Bill will recognise different parts of Australia have different biosecurity requirements dependant on the primary production activities taking place in that region.'
Tasmania enjoys favourable access to many international markets for its quality and safe agricultural produce as a result of its pest and disease status. The new Biosecurity Bill will not, in any way, threaten that advantage. We made a commitment to that in 2012 and we have ensured that in the Bill.
Tasmania has natural advantages in key super-growth sectors in our transitioning economy - tourism, agriculture exports and international education. Over the last three years we have demonstrated our ability to put in place the right settings to allow business to flourish and individuals to succeed.
The Tasmanian Liberal Team understand very well the importance of biosecurity to the state and we have proven that by our actions.
The Tasmanian community can be assured the Tasmanian Liberal Team will continue to act in the state's best interest.