Filipino bananas again on agenda
NICKY Singh said North Coast banana growers were likely to bear the brunt of banana diseases brought into Australia on imported fruit, because of their position in a tourism area between two major population centres.
A revised draft report by Biosecurity Australia has recommended approving the importation of bananas from the Philippines under certain conditions.
Mr Singh, the chairman of the NSW Banana Industry Committee, said those conditions basically amounted to self-regulation by Filipino growers.
Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker said bananas from the Philippines should not be allowed into Australia because the risk of disease was unacceptable.
He said he supported the minority view in the report.
This said areas of low pest prevalence in the Philippines could not be effectively identified or maintained; infected fruit without symptoms was not detectable and trials to date did not show the proposed post-harvest chlorine treatment was effective.
Mr Hartsuyker is urging all growers to read the draft report and comment by May 30.
The Australian Banana Growers Council said the quarantine measures proposed were unworkable, unenforceable and open to manipulation and abuse.
Copies of the Revised Draft Import Risk Analysis Report for Bananas from the Philippines are available from the Biosecurity Australia website www.biosecurityaustralia.gov.au