Banana import inquiry to test biosecurity plan

A MOVE to hold a full Senate inquiry into a decision to allow the importation of bananas from the Philippines has been welcomed by a local MP.

Queensland Senator Ron Boswell has secured a commitment from the Senate's Chair of the Rural and Regional Affairs Committee, Bill Heffanan, for a formal Senate inquiry into the proposal.

And Federal member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, says the move will test the plan of Biosecurity Australia to allow the imports.

“We are committed to working with the banana industry to ensure Philippine bananas are not permitted to threaten the disease free Australian bananas,” said Mr Hartsuyker.

“In my view it is simply not worth the risk to allow Philippine bananas into Australia.

“It is essential that Australia remains free of exotic diseases such as Moko, Black Sigatoka and Freckle which are prevalent in the Philippines.

“Biosecurity Australia has released a 600-page report and given the industry just 30 days to respond.

“Given the amount of detail in the report it is essential that key elements relating to disease and quarantine are subject to close scrutiny.”



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