Saturday, 15 September 2007
Australia to ban political movement
Australia found another suspected case of foot in mouth disease in a huge complex in Canberra today and immediately imposed an exclusion zone around the area.
It is likely a large group of politicians will have to be culled in an attempt to stem the outbreak.
A statement issued by the Government said an exclusion zone had been thrown around the capital, Canberra, the scene of numerous recent outbreaks.
A Government source said officials were determined to act quickly as political commentators warned that Australia's political industry would be "devastated" if the case was confirmed.
A crippling outbreak of foot in mouth disease is likely to wipeout a large stock of Liberal politicians and the Government is desperate to limit the damage across the country.
Prime Minister John Howard's official spokesman said the Government would impose a nationwide ban on the movement of all politicians if tests confirmed a fresh outbreak.
Results are expected any time now and the Government's emergency committee would meet soon after the results were known.
"We are not a party that is prepared to take any risks," said Kevin Rudd, leader of Labor Party.
"We support the Government's nationwide ban on political movements. The Government can not afford to delay any longer. I just want to say we are not a party of delays. We have a plan for the future and it does not involve delays."
This new suspected case comes just days after political experts failed to declare Australian politician's free of foot in mouth disease (FiD) and lift a ban on all political movements imposed during APEC.
A Union spokesperson said they viewed the news with "extreme concern".
"This is an absolute disaster for the Liberals," the spokesperson said. "But they have no one to blame but themselves for this latest outbreak".
A Government report suggested it was "highly likely" that the virus entered the political system during the recent APEC summit in Sydney that saw hundreds of world leaders trapped in close confinement due to traffic congestion.
A spokesperson for the NSW Premier Morris Iemma, denied the State Government was responsible. "This was the best APEC Sydney had ever had," said the spokesperson.