Foot And Mouth Disease
Mr AMERY: Earlier today I was asked a question by the honourable member for Lachlan about our preparedness for foot and mouth disease based on the number of veterinary laboratories in New South Wales. During my answer the honourable member for Lismore interjected and asked why I was closing Lismore. At the time I assumed the honourable member was referring to the veterinary laboratory on the North Coast at Wollongbar. He then corrected me and said he was referring not to the laboratory at Wollongbar but to the one at Lismore. I can assure the House, as I did earlier, that there is no veterinary laboratory in Lismore. However, many departmental officers around the State conduct testing in small laboratories.
I understand that the electorate of Lismore has a small chemical residue facility that tests primarily fruit and vegetables. Fruit and vegetable tests and any other soil residue tests do play a role in animal disease surveillance in this State. The honourable member for Lismore would know from the tragic news reports in the United Kingdom that the pyres are burning cattle, sheep and pigs. They are not burning lettuce leaves, mangoes and tomatoes. The honourable member for Lismore can contact my office either this afternoon or on any other day and get a full list of disease surveillance centres for the control of animal exotic disease.
Mr GEORGE, by leave: What I have said has been taken out of context. From my previous experience at the Northern Co-operative Meat Company I am aware that the laboratory in Lismore supports the meat industry in New South Wales. It is not a small laboratory, as the Minister described it. I invite him to attend the laboratory before he closes it later this month.
Questions without notice concluded.