The new Albanese government would be excused for thinking they've caught the rough end of the pineapple in terms of their timing coming into office.
The attention of Cabinet will be on rising inflation and an energy crisis, while the new Agriculture and Emergency Management Minister, Murray Watt, also has his work cut out.
The disaster season appears to be never ending, with further unseasonal rains and floods inundating NSW, and long feared biosecurity threats are either knocking on the door or have already found their way in.
Lumpy skin disease was detected in Indonesia for the first time in March and Foot and Mouth Disease in May. Most recently, on June 24, NSW DPI confirmed detections of varroa mite in biosecurity surveillance hives at the Port of Newcastle and subsequently at further sites in eastern parts of the state.
Cometh the policy and funding challenge, cometh the government.
Coming into the election the Labor Party committed that an Albanese government would deliver long-term, sustainable funding that would go directly to strengthening Australia's biosecurity system.
Despite this commitment, and the imminent biosecurity threats, there is no detail yet as to how Mr Watt intends to deliver sustainable funding.
It remains the hope of the horticulture industry that the new Labor government will succeed where the Coalition failed in developing broad agreement and support for a levy on containerised cargo, meaning those creating biosecurity risk into the future will bear greatest responsibility for managing it.
For now, the honey bee industry and those who rely on its pollination services will hope for the best that past Australian successes in eradication are repeated, but will also start planning for the worst.
Latest updates on the emergency response from the NSW DPI can be found at https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/emergencies/biosecurity/current-situation/varroa-mite-emergency-response.
Those keepers and growers in Queensland looking for more information on current restrictions on the movement of bees, honey and hives into this state are encouraged to visit the QDAF ehub at https://daf.engagementhub.com.au/varroa-mite.
And if you have any further questions or concerns, call QDAF on 13 25 23.
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