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Thursday, 13 October 2011
Page: 7432

Senator FAWCETT (South Australia) (18:03): I would like to speak to the document 'Trade—New Zealand—Export of apples to Australia—Order for production of documents'. This is an issue that is of significant concern to apple and pear growers in South Australia. They have an industry which is known for its clean and healthy fruit that can be exported to a number of markets around the world. They are seriously concerned by the actions of this government, which, for very political reasons, made a commitment to New Zealand before even seeking advice from its department. The subsequent actions of trying to justify those actions through Biosecurity have caused a great deal of concern for growers, their families and the communities who depend on that, who are concerned about the future for their industry.

One of the things that have been very pleasing to see in South Australia is that the Foodland supermarket group has actually taken its own steps to decide that it will support local growers. It has taken a decision not to stock New Zealand apples but to stock local apples and so support the industry there. I take this opportunity to put on record the actions that it has taken, which I think are very supportive of our local growers, and I encourage people in South Australia to support people who are supporting local growers of fruit and vegetables, to keep our industry and our growers viable and sustainable into the future. I seek leave to continue my remarks later.

Leave granted; debate adjourned.