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Monday, 21 May 2018
Page: 4052


Mr O'DOWD (Flynn) (16:17): Madam Deputy Speaker, I won't put you under pressure like the last speaker did. It's disappointing to hear that citrus canker has again been detected in Australia. Yes, citrus canker has reared its head again—seven times in the last 100 years. Within Flynn, there are some very large citrus farms: 2PH in Emerald and Golden Mile Orchards and Ironbark Citrus in Mundubbera. But there are many, many more big citrus plantations.

In 2004, we saw the wholesale destruction of Emerald's CQ citrus industry. The result was a 50-kilometre radius exclusion zone and the eradication of every citrus tree in the town and surrounding properties. They were pulled out and burned. I've met with Craig Pressler of 2PH Farms on Friday. In 2004, the Pressler operation was crippled by citrus canker. To eradicate canker, some 500,000 trees had to be destroyed in the Emerald area. It was the only way to curtail this incursion. Vigilance and swift action is the key. It's paramount that strict quarantine is followed. We know that canker is on six properties in the Northern Territory and on some properties in Western Australia. I would like to urge the authorities to take the same action that the department took in Emerald in 2004; otherwise, the risk is very high and could see the end of the citrus industry across Australia.