Tasmanian Labor has raised the alarm over a decision that could threaten jobs in Tasmania’s iconic potato industry.
Shadow Primary Industries Minister Shane Broad said Primary Industries Minister Guy Barnett had confirmed that fresh potatoes will now be imported into the state and sold on our supermarket shelves.
“Guy Barnett says there’s no greater supporter of Tasmanian’s agricultural sector than this Liberal Government,” Dr Broad said.
“With friends like this who needs enemies.
“The Government’s decision has been taken without consultation with Tasmania’s potato producers and could pose a serious risk to jobs and investment in our home grown industry.
“Despite the assurances of the Minister, the risk of disease impacting Tasmania’s $400 million potato industry is real.
“In the wake of blueberry rust and fruit fly outbreaks no one can take this Minister’s biosecurity assurances seriously.
“Having thrown open the gate to imported potatoes, Guy Barnett wants credit for writing a letter to the two big supermarket chains asking them to support local producers.
“Well what guarantee does this provide when one of the country’s biggest mainland producers, Mitolo, is allowed to dump its cheap potatoes into the Tasmanian market?”
Shane Broad MP
Shadow Minister for Primary Industries