Liberals continue to threaten the iconic Tasmanian potato industry by failing to address the risk of disease outbreaks resulting from unnecessary import of potatoes from the interstate.
The shadow minister for primary industries, Shane Broad, said the government must pay attention to the concerns of farmers and processors.
“The Liberals made this decision in June and here we are at the end of September and have not yet understood the seriousness of the threat,” said Dr. Broad.
“Three diseases in particular were not considered by Biosecurity Tasmania due to an outdated import assessment, which they admitted is awaiting review.
“These diseases can be easily spread by insects over long distances and would impact the entire potato industry and potentially tomato growers.
“The government’s continued inability to consult with industry is reckless and alarming, and the entire Tasmanian industry is justifiably furious that their investments and livelihoods have been put at risk by liberals.
“For companies like Agronico, the perceived increase in risk alone could have the potential to sink new export market opportunities like Indonesia.
Having spent $ 3.3 million to upgrade their Spreyton facilities last year, including a $ 1.69 million liberal grant, this is a major threat to Agronico and they deserve response and action.
“Labor is still calling for an immediate injunction to protect the industry from decimation.
“Local farmers are already meeting demand and failure to enforce an injunction will jeopardize our disease-free status and the Tasmanian brand.”
Shane Broad MP
Shadow Minister for Primary Industries