Federal Parliament has been told Tasmania’s farmers within the fruit fly control area are now being denied access to the lucrative Chinese market.
Federal Member for Braddon Justine Keay said “The Tasmanian Premier must start taking responsibility for this emergency and the fact local farmers within the control area are now being denied access to the Chinese market.
“Sassafras Orchards are being forced to sell their cherries into Hong Kong at half the price they would have received in mainland China.
“Their Chinese buyer will not accept their cherries because of the fruit fly threat.
“Our local farmers are unfortunately now paying the price for the state Liberal’s million dollar cut to Tasmania’s biosecurity in their first budget.
“Even now in the midst of this emergency, visitors to Tasmania are arriving by sea and air without any checks at entry ports.
“To compound the situation, the Tasmanian Government appears to have lost control with up to forty kilograms of fresh fruit that originated in the exclusion zone being found at the Wynyard market.
Justine Keay said, “At the federal level the Turnbull Government through former Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has also refused to implement recommendations to strengthen our biosecurity as contained in last year’s Review Report into the Australian Biosecurity Framework.
“The policy failure of the Liberal Premier, Malcolm Turnbull and Barnaby Joyce has seen Tasmania’s hard won national and international reputation as being fruit fly free tarnished.
“Tasmanian farmers deserve state and federal governments that take biosecurity seriously.
“The Liberals cuts and inaction towards biosecurity has its consequences and Tasmania is now paying the price.”
MONDAY 5 FEBRUARY 2018
MEDIA CONTACT: JOHN DOWLING - 0417 575 148