Labor is calling for an immediate injunction to protect Tasmania’s iconic potato industry from being decimated by disease.
Shadow Minister for Primary Industries, Shane Broad, said the Liberals are putting Tasmania’s entire potato industry at risk by failing to act.
“The Liberals are threatening local jobs and investment by unnecessarily importing potatoes that have not been assessed for diseases,” Dr Broad said.
“By failing to update import criteria to consider all diseases that exist in South Australia, and are not in Tasmania, the Liberals are putting the state’s entire potato industry at risk.
“Local farmers are already meeting the demand and a failure to put in place an injunction will not only undercut the local market but also risk our disease‑free status and the Tasmanian brand.
“Tasmania’s post-pandemic recovery hinges on local jobs and investment – the Government must act urgently to protect workers who rely upon this iconic $400 million industry.
“Instead, at a time when we should be on the front foot for buying local, the Liberals are standing by while potatoes are brought here at a cheaper price than what our farmers can produce.
“Guy Barnett’s attempt to back the industry by writing to Coles and Woolworths asking them to support local producers is pathetic – Tasmanian consumers have no way of knowing what’s South Australian and what’s Tasmanian because there’s no ‘state of origin’ labelling.
Dr Broad said when it comes to supporting Tasmania’s agricultural industry, Guy Barnett cannot be trusted.
“Biosecurity Tasmania is already relying on outdated import requirements that are due for review, and in the wake of blueberry rust and fruit fly outbreaks it’s impossible to take Guy Barnett’s biosecurity assurances seriously.
“It’s vital that the Government acts urgently to put an injunction in place or risk decimating the state’s entire potato industry.”
Shane Broad MP
Shadow Primary Industries Minister