Regional Development Australia (RDA) Central and Western Queensland’s Economic Significance of the Livestock Industry to Central and Western Queensland report has painted a dire picture of what could happen to the region should an outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) occur.
Ms Landry has welcomed the release of the report and has commended RDA for commissioning the report to highlight the debilitating effects of FMD to the agriculture sector.
“I want to congratulate RDA Central and Western Queensland for taking the proactive step in releasing this report. The report makes for scary reading not just for the people who work in the agriculture sector but also for everyone who calls Central Queensland home.
“The report states that an outbreak of FMD will cost the region $1.1 billion, which 5.2 per cent of the region’s economy. In my electorate, $214,400,000 would be written off Rockhampton’s economy and $121,800,000 written off in the Livingstone Shire.
“Jobs are also at risk. If an outbreak of FMD occurs, approximately 7,034 jobs in Rockhampton would be lost and 3,960 jobs in Livingstone Shire would also be lost.
Ms Landry also called for Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to take over the Government’s response to FMD from Minister for Agriculture Murray Watt.
“Murray Watt’s response to the threat of FMD has been abysmal and inadequate. We are hearing more and more from passengers from overseas who have not been questioned and not been required to use risk-mitigation measures in international airports.
“While Murray Watt may not see the potential impacts of FMD from here lives in the lofty Gold Coast, there is a real and present risk of what FMD can do to livestock and to the Central Queensland economy. He needs to treat FMD seriously,” Ms Landry said.