The Tasmanian Apple and Pear Growers Association is welcoming a report published by the Tasmanian government that reiterates the state’s refusal to allow the entrance of New Zealand apple imports.

The Tasmanian government, which has a long tradition of taking stubborn action on importation disagreements, flagrantly dismissed the draft import guidelines of national watchdog Biosecurity Australia as wholly inadequate, and formed from “deficient” science and logic.

Furthermore, David Llewellyn, primary industries, water and environment minister in Tasmania warned the Federal government that that are “three strong, scientific grounds on which their Import Risk Assessment fails to meet an adequate standard of protection against the risk of importing disease [notably the bacterial disease fire blight, common to New Zealand].”

These reasons are explained as a complaint against the methodology used to reach conclusions, the inappropriate risk-management strategies proposed and the disregard of the special status of Tasmania.

The association has been campaigning against the implementation of new import regulations for the NZ apples since they were first revealed two months ago, and which they say threatened Tasmania’s disease-free crops and the very future of its pear and apples industry. 

With this ministerial backing, association president Mark Salter is warning that Tasmania could well quarantine itself if the guidelines are adopted by the federal government.