Tasmania is keeping up the apple ban and preventing the import of New Zealand apples into Tasmania still.
Here’s the latest update:
TASMANIA will maintain its ban on fruit from fire-blight affects areas such as New Zealand, while the State Government works out what its next move should be.
A national ban on the importation of apples from New Zealand was lifted last month and already more than 12 shipments of Kiwi fruit have arrived in mainland markets.
One container has already been rejected by authorities because it was contaminated by leaf trash and insects.
Primary Industires Minister Bryan Green met Biosecurity Australia and Fruit Growers Tasmania this morning to get more detail on how the national importation decision could impact on Tasmania.
But Mr Green has not yet decided if Tasmania will make a stand and continue its prohibition on apples from fire-blight affected areas.
“I have asked my department to explore all possible options before deciding our next move,” Mr Green said.
The State to which the contaminated container of apples was bound, South Australia, has since put a ban on imported fruit going into its fruit-growing regions. However, New Zealand apples are still being stocked in Adelaide supermarkets.
The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association has mounted a strong campaign urging the State Government to maintain its ban and the detection of the contaminated apples prompted it to tell local authorities “we told you so.”
The TFGA now wants heightened biosecurity surveillance to be implemented in Tasmania and for a permanent, enforced ban to be placed on New Zealand apples entering the state.
“It took less than a week for NZ exporters to transgress, ” TFGA chief executive Jan Davis said yesterday.
“And you have to wonder what has already slipped through unnoticed.”
Ms Davis said if the fire-blight disease found to find its way to Tasmania, it would not only be apples that would be affected.
“Many other crops and garden plants are also at risk,” she said.
For a summary of the Federal Government response see:
The Federal Government is not happy with Tasmania and considering whether it can overrule Tasmania.
The clean green image of Tasmania is vital to tourism and business in Tasmania so hopefully the decision will stand.
17 January – another update – New Zealand is pressurising the Federal Government to bring Tasmania into line:
Fortunately Tasmania is still resisting and apples remain banned!