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Friday, 20 February 1987
Page: 487

(Question No. 4981)


Mr Hunt asked the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice, on 28 November 1986:

(1) Will he lift the 3 month quarantine period for imported orchid plants; if so, what steps will be taken to ensure that imported orchids will be disease-free.

(2) Has he considered allowing the importation of flasks only, unless a plant was specifically imported for breeding purposes; if not, why not.

(3) What action will be taken to ensure large quantities of subsidised orchids are not dumped on the Australian market if quarantine restrictions are lifted.


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

(1) There are no plans to lift the 3 month post entry quarantine period for orchids.

(2) Quarantine officials in my Department have considered proposals to limit importations to flasks only and have rejected them as being unnecessarily restrictive. Unless flask orchids are produced under special high health conditions they do not afford significantly higher levels of quarantine security than imported conventional plants grown in post-entry quarantine.

(3) As post-entry quarantine requirements will not be lifted the question of dumping as a consequence will not arise.