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Tuesday, 17 February 1987
Page: 12

(Question No. 4872)

Mr Hunt asked the Minister for Trade, upon notice, on 12 November 1986:

(1) What restrictions currently apply to the importation of Australian fresh oranges into the USA.

(2) What reasons have been given for these restrictions.

(3) What representations has the Government made to the US Administration on this matter.

Mr Dawkins —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) and (2) Australian oranges and other fresh citrus fruit are prohibited entry into the USA due to the presence in Australia of a number of pests and diseases which do not occur in the USA and which the US Department of Agriculture consider would pose a potentially serious threat to US horticultural industries. The major concern is with fruit flies, citrus black spot, Australian scab and septoria.

(3) The Australian Government has made representations regarding the entry of fresh citrus fruit into the USA for more than 20 years. There are now regular technical discussions on quarantine issues including those affecting citrus, between senior officials of the Department of Primary Industry and USDA. The most recent round of these discussions which took place in the USA, 12-14 November 1986 established that there is no prospect of early resolution of difficulties which prevent the entry of Australian citrus fruit. Major concerns of the USA are with Australian internal quarantine measures to prevent the entry of fruit flies and diseases of concern into the areas from which fruit is likely to be exported. These export areas must also be continuously monitored to ensure that they remain free from the pests and diseases. Internal quarantine and other regulating controls are State responsibilities in Australia. The United States, like Australia, imposes strict quarantine provisions to guard against the entry of pests or diseases which could have disastrous consequences for its agricultural industries.