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Farmers Call for Indonesian Travel Ban Amidst Tremendous Frustration

Farmers Call for Indonesian Travel Ban Amidst Tremendous Frustration


Farmers Call for Indonesian Travel Ban Amidst Tremendous Frustration

Article by: Hari Yellina

c South-west The agricultural sector contributes significantly to Victoria’s economy; for example, the Colac Otway Shire generated over $245 million in revenue from cattle in the fiscal year 2020–21. Although the disease has not yet reached Australia, the Indonesian outbreak is of great concern to the agricultural sector. However, the federal government is still devoted to maintaining open borders in order to protect Australia’s $7.9 billion annual trading connection with Indonesia. To try to prevent the disease, a number of new biosecurity measures have been put in place.

Peter Delahunty, a dairy farmer from Alvie who is fourth generation, said there is growing concern about an outbreak in Australia. He stated, “We believe the response has been much more reflexive than well-planned.” “[The administration] initially opposed foot mats, but then altered their thoughts and declared they would have them. They are adopting things piecemeal.” “We believe a 120-day travel ban for unnecessary trips would have been eminently reasonable.” According to Mr. Delahunty, such a prohibition would simply have an impact on vacationers travelling to Indonesia and wouldn’t have to interfere with commerce or commercial operations. “That would just give Australia and Indonesia a little breathing room to have all their [biosecurity] measures in place,” he said.

Owner of Midwest Meats Justin Cashman warned that FMD will wreak havoc on the whole community in the state’s southwest and that the National Farmers Federation and other powerful organisations needed “to get their act together fairly rapidly.” The Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council, the Australian Meat Industry Council, the Cattle Council of Australia, and Sheep Producers Australia are all opposed to sealing the border with Indonesia. The National Farmers’ Federation is also against it. The disease must be battled in Indonesia, not here, Mr. Cashman stated, adding that he is aware that FMD exists in other nations. “We must close this border immediately, now. “I believe I can speak for many companies, even just in terms of how FMD is seen.”

Murray Watt, the federal minister of agriculture, stated that the government was taking this issue seriously and urged anybody who choose to travel to do the same. He added that the Albanese government had implemented the strictest biosecurity regulations ever employed in Australia, including firsts like foot mats and biosecurity response areas at airports. “We have implemented multilayer defences, including risk assessments on 100% of Indonesian-returning travellers, intensified questioning and bag checks at airports, and postal screening at mail centres for all mail arriving from China and Indonesia. The administration has been advised that a border shutdown is unnecessary, would harm our $7.9 billion annual trade relationship with Indonesia, and have an adverse impact on farmer income.