Disease fears over banana importing

IN the wake of the news that Australia will import bananas from the Philippines, former Minister for Trade and Agriculture Warren Truss has said that he is amazed at the decision.

“I'm staggered the Government has decided to import,” Mr Truss said during a brief visit to Coffs Harbour on Friday.

“I always held the view that the bananas would never be allowed into the country.”

“It will be devastating if disease comes to the country,” Mr Truss added.

Mr Truss said that locally the threat of disease is greater than Northern Queensland or Western Australia because Coffs Harbour is closer to Sydney, the likely entry point of the bananas.

The Philippino banana's have many diseases that thankfully do not exist here in Australia.

“The industry here is on a smaller scale and can less afford a disruption,” he said. “Given the breadth of disease concerns about banana imports, and the disease-free status of our banana industry, growers have every right to be concerned. There is no evidence that the disease and quarantine issues that have stopped the imports in the past have been resolved.”



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