Government stands by as local potato industry gets smashed

Tasmanian Labor
  • Biosecurity Tasmania approves fresh potato imports
  • No government consultation with local growers
  • Risk of diseases can’t be ignored
  • 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

    /Public Release. The material in this public release comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.