Aussies urged to stay out of picture-perfect canola crops
Australia's cropping lands are shining gold amid a now confirmed third consecutive La Niña weather event, favourable cropping conditions and successive seasons of higher plantings of canola to capture positive international pricing. However, members of the public seeking an uninvited photo opportunity could put livelihoods at risk.
Biosecurity SA's Dave Hubbard spoke with Flow on Tuesday about the risks people bring onto farms - and potentially to themselves - unlawfully entering private farming property:
Various groups are making signage like the one below available to reproduce or order at cost, plus there are free giveaways at South Australian field days for grain producers:
Mr Hubbard said farmers could also help themselves and the public protect their own farm and their neighbours':
"I encourage farmers to lock their gates or at least keep them shut, anything against a major road, to make sure that people don't have an open gate to drive through ... the signs are a critical one and other than that, be alert around your area and if you see people entering your neighbour's property, make them aware of the risks."
Grain Producers Australia chair Andrew Weidemann said in Canberra on Friday that biosecurity threats are growing due to increases in not only Australia’s local grain production – climbing from a $4 billion industry to $20 billion, over the past 30-years – but also the size and complexity of global trade and human movement.
“GPA's biosecurity advocacy acutely recognises these increasing demands and that we need tougher preventive measures with appropriate resourcing to protect growers, rural communities and the national economy against the social and economic impacts of devastating pests and incursions.
“For example, khapra beetle could cause an estimated $15.5 billion worth of damage over 20 years and a loss of access to important grain export markets for Australian farmers.
“GPA has advocated for the introduction of a levy on all imported containers entering Australia. In response to these escalating demands and complex challenges, we continue to support this.”