News, media releases

Liberals fail to act on disease outbreak threat

  • Disease outbreaks threaten industry
  • Liberals fail to consult with industry over biosecurity
  • Labor again calls for immediate injunction to protect industry

The Liberals continue to threaten Tasmania’s iconic potato industry by failing to act on the risk of disease outbreaks from the needless importation of potatoes from interstate.

Shadow Minister for Primary Industries, Shane Broad, said the government must heed concerns from farmers and processors.

“The Liberals made this decision in June and here we are at the end of September and they still haven’t grasped the seriousness of the threat,” Dr Broad said.

“Three diseases in particular have not been considered by Biosecurity Tasmania because of an outdated import assessment, which they’ve admitted is due for review.

“These diseases can be spread easily by insects over long distances and would impact the entire potato industry and, potentially, tomato growers.

“The government’s continual failure to consult with the industry is reckless and alarming and the entire Tasmanian industry is rightfully furious that their investments and livelihoods have been put at risk by the Liberals.

“For companies like Agronico, the perceived increase in risk alone could have the potential to scuttle new export market opportunities like Indonesia.

“Having spent $3.3 million upgrading their Spreyton facilities last year, including a $1.69 million Liberal grant, this is a major threat to Agronico and they deserve answers and action.

“Labor is again calling for an immediate injunction to protect the industry from decimation.

“Local farmers are already meeting the demand and a failure to put in place an injunction will put risk our disease free status and the Tasmanian brand.”

Shane Broad MP  
Shadow Minister for Primary Industries