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Thursday, 17 June 2010
Page: 5839

Mr BRIGGS (11:46 AM) —I think you would agree with this line of questioning as well. I also rise to speak on the very important issue of apples and pears to my electorate of Mayo. The Adelaide Hills probably produce the finest apples in Australia. My apple and pear producers are extremely worried. I wrote to the minister yesterday on the Chinese import risk assessment that the shadow minister so eloquently put in his question to the minister. I am interested in that answer. In particular, is the department looking at possibly reopening that risk assessment given this new bug? I will not try and pronounce the name of the bug—you may be able to assist, Minister, in that respect. I am interested in the New Zealand aspect and the more pressing issue of the risk assessment of the Chinese situation.

The second issue which was raised by the member for New England relates to prime agricultural land. In my area in the Adelaide Hills, the state government is opening up large parcels of land for housing development. Is an assessment being conducted by the federal agricultural department about the impact on our ability to produce food from inappropriate development on prime agricultural land? Certainly around Mount Barker this is a very contentious issue. This is a very important issue: where we choose to put houses and the use of areas that have fertile soil and good water—which are not always available in South Australia. Is an assessment being done on the risk here? I do not think the state Labor government in South Australia is doing enough in that respect.