Oberon Footrot Outbreak
OBERON FOOTROT OUTBREAK
Mr CLOUGH: My question is directed to the Minister for the Environment, representing in this House the Minister for Planning and Minister for Energy. Is the Minister aware of a serious outbreak of footrot in the Oberon district? Is he aware also that Electricity Commission employees working in that district are not complying with a Supreme Court order to wash all footwear and vehicles to prevent the disease spreading? Will the Minister urgently contact the Minister for Planning and Minister for Energy to ensure compliance with the court order?
Mr MOORE: I am unaware of the matter asserted by the honourable member for Bathurst, but I shall contact the Minister urgently and ask him to address the issues the honourable member has raised.
Mr MOORE: I wish to provide some supplementary information to the question the honourable member for Bathurst asked of me in my capacity representing the Minister for Planning and Minister for Energy. I am advised by the Minister that there would probably be some footrot in the Oberon area at present, though it is doubted there would be any major outbreak at present as the land is too dry and the spread of the disease is likely to have slowed. I understand that the issue was discussed at length some 12 to 18 months ago when it was used as a reason at
that time to stop construction workers going from property to property while working on the Mount Piper to Marulan transmission line. It is possible that individual farmers may have had some incidence of footrot in the recent past and they are likely to be controlling it, but so far as I am advised there is no major outbreak of footrot on properties in the area at present, whether they be properties associated with the construction of the transmission line or properties outside of that construction path. I have referred the concern of the honourable member for Bathurst to the Minister for Planning and Minister for Energy. I am sure that he will arrange for officers of the Electricity Commission to take this matter up with local farmers and with the construction staff, if necessary, to ascertain whether the facts asserted by the honourable member for Bathurst are correct and ensure that appropriate remedial action is taken.