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Thursday, 27 November 1986
Page: 3879

To the Honourable the Speaker and the Honourable Members of the House of Representatives in Parliament assembled. The humble petition of the undersigned citizens of Australia sheweth that whereas:

Australia until recently had no reported infestation of Potato Cyst Nematode (PCN), a potato disease that can reduce crop yields by 70% in a short space of time,

an outbreak of PCN in Western Australia has heightened concerns within the Central Highlands potato growing industry that PCN infestations in the region would have disastrous effects on the regional economy and the livelihoods of many families,

the further introduction of PCN to Australia must be avoided thus requiring that the most effective quarantine measures be applied.

Your petitioners therefore ask that the Australian Government be urged to:

1. Cease the importation of fresh potatoes for any purposes because of the threat of introducing PCN;

2. Review as necessary arrangements with New Zealand under the Closer Economic Relations agreement;

3. Allow the importation only of processed potatoes, provided the processing takes place outside Australia, as processing destroys PCN;

4. As a further safeguard, place a ban on the importation of secondhand farm machinery because of the danger of inadvertently introducing PCN on machinery which has been in contact with PCN infested soil.

And your petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray.

by .