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Thursday, 8 November 1973
Page: 1643

Senator WRIGHT (TASMANIA) - I direct my question to the Minister for Primary Industry. I wish the Minister to permit me to indicate the satisfaction I felt when news came that as a result of his negotiations in Tokyo the Japanese were prepared to consider representations for the import of apples from certain sections of Australia provided the Japanese were satisfied that the fruit was free of codlin moth. In view of the special importance of that approach to Tasmania, will the Minister take up with the Premier of Tasmania a suggestion that we immediately institute a campaign there for the complete supression of codlin moth in commercial orchards, where it has almost been eradicated, and in residential orchards even if it means a government system of inspection?

Will the Minister include that suggestion in conversation with the Premier on his projected visit to the Prime Minister?

Senator WRIEDT - I have some reservations about the use of the word 'suppression' because there are connotations which the honourable senator himself would agree suggest an authoritarian approach to this problem. This is a technical matter and I think it is necessary to cooperate with primary producers on any disease eradication programs. My department, in conjunction with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, has been conducting a maximum campaign to eliminate not only codlin moth but also other infestations and diseases of fruit. I shall certainly keep in mind the suggestion of the honourable senator. I would not wish to convey that the discussions which will take place, I hope in March or April, concerning the regional export of apples and pears from Australia to Japan will be easy discussions because the Japanese, naturally, are very strong in their quarantine regulations. The important point is that the Japanese are now prepared to consider a regional basis of imports. We will certainly be maximising our efforts to ensure that the fruit can be made free of disease and insect pest in whatever parts of Australia it can be commercially produced.

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