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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 1051 asked in the Legislative Council on 19 September 2019 by Hon Colin De Grussa

Minister responding: Hon A. MacTiernan
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on

DEPARTMENT OF PRIMARY INDUSTRIES AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT — BIOSECURITY STAFF

1051. Hon COLIN de GRUSSA to the Minister for Agriculture and Food:

I refer to the Queensland fruit fly, medfly and European wasp programs within the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.

(1) Can the minister please provide the current staffing levels allocated to each of the programs listed above in terms of full-time equivalent, full-time, part-time or casual?

(2) Can the minister please list the work location for all staff in (1)?

(3) What staffing changes have occurred in these programs over the past 12 months; and, if any staff members have left these roles, can the minister please provide details of their time employed in these roles prior to their departure?

(4) What were the previous roles of any new staff who have joined these programs?

Hon ALANNAH MacTIERNAN replied:

I thank the member for the question.

(1) The medfly eradication program has five full-time equivalents—three full-time and two casual. The Queensland fruit fly program has 7.8 FTEs—three full-time and 4.8 casual. The European wasp program has 1.5 FTEs—three part-time.

(2) The medfly eradication program staff are located in South Perth, 3.5 FTEs; and Carnarvon, 1.5 FTEs. The Queensland fruit fly program staff are located in Perth, 3.8 FTEs; Kununurra, one FTE; Geraldton, one FTE; and Manjimup, two FTEs. The European wasp program staff are located in South Perth, 1.5 FTEs.

(3) The reduction of five FTEs in the medfly program is associated with the change in focus of the medfly activities in Carnarvon from eradication to management. Two of the staff had less than three years' experience and three staff had less than one year's experience. The increase of 3.6 FTEs in the Queensland fruit fly program is associated with increased horticultural production areas in WA requiring an expansion of the surveillance grid. There was a reduction of one FTE in the European wasp program as two part-time staff have taken redundancies. An incident was declared from March to July 2019 to respond to the seasonal increase in nest numbers—166 nests across 12 local government authorities—and additional resources were deployed, including 513 days contributed by departmental staff and 410 days by agency staff—casual.

(4) Staff joining the Queensland fruit fly project have not held substantive positions with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development previously. One FTE had six months' experience in incident response, and two FTEs had two years' experience in agriculture.