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Devastating pest risk to $400 million Australian tomato industry
- Sat, 2012-08-25 (All day)
Fresh concerns are being raised about the future of the Australian tomato industry with proposed import conditions providing an opportunity for an exotic insect pest to enter our nation.
The Tomato-potato psyllid a small, flying insect resembling a cicada which has wreaked havoc in New Zealand and North America, could potentially be headed to Australian shores if proposed import conditions are approved.
“Australia is lucky enough to be free of this devastating pest, so why would our government give it the chance to cross our borders and potentially devastate our tomato industry?” said AUSVEG Public Affairs and Communications Manager, William Churchill.
AUSVEG is the National Peak Industry Body representing Australia’s 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.
The import conditions for fresh potatoes from New Zealand are currently under review by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) Biosecurity and if approved, New Zealand potatoes will be allowed to enter Australia for processing.