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Monday, 31 October 2011
Page: 11956

Potato Imports

To the Honourable The Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives

Petition to stop the import of fresh potatoes from New Zealand due to serious disease concerns

This petition of members of the Australian vegetable and potato industries, initiated by AUSVEG, the national peak body representing around 9,000 vegetable and potato growers around Australia, draws to the attention of the House:

Concern from the industry that potatoes from New Zealand infected with Zebra Chip disease complex—a devastating potato disease which has caused millions of dollars worth of damage worldwide—will be allowed into Australia if a current New Zealand request for market access is approved.

AUSVEG has grave concerns that if this market access request is approved, it will put the Australian potato industry at extreme unnecessary risk, as it is highly likely that a proportion of the potatoes that come into Australia from New Zealand will be infected with Zebra Chip disease complex.

We therefore ask the House to:

Take steps to ensure that Australia, via the relevant governing body, rejects the application by The Ministry of Agriculture Biosecurity New Zealand for market access, which would allow them to import fresh potatoes into Australia for processing under a Quarantine Approved Premise arrangement.

from 1,996 citizens