Banana battle goes to senate inquiry

THE battle to stop the importation of bananas will go to a parliamentary inquiry.

The Senate yesterday agreed to look at whether importing bananas from the Philippines will bring in disease and cost Australian jobs, with the potential to lose many here on the Coffs Coast.

Concerns over Cavendish bananas were raised in the Lower House on Tuesday by independent MP Bob Katter, whose north Queensland electorate includes major banana-growing districts.

Low wages in the Philippines - as low as $4 a day - could threaten jobs in the local industry, he said.

He also raised concerns imported cartons of fruit were not all being checked for disease.

The Senate's Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee is to make an investigation.



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