Home' Grower : July 2010 Contents The South Australian Grower -- July 2010
Apple and pear
In this month's issue:
13 New Zealand
Growers take to Durivo
New future for orchardist
Varroa mite threat
18 Stone fruit
US knocks on our door
19 Trade notes
Get your message out
18 Upcoming events
21 Sparrow's Nest
22 Market reports
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General manager: Joe Wallman
Editor-in-chief: Peter Brady
Production editor: Percy Henry
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The South Australian Grower is a Stock Journal
publication. 123 Greenhill Road, Unley SA 5061
FRONT PAGE: Dominic De Ruvo with
two of the 1 million icebergs his
family grows annually at their
Waterloo Corner property.
By PETER BRADY
INDUSTRY heavyweights are
determined to win the battle
against imports of Chinese
apples following rejection of sub-
missions to the Import Risk
Analysis Appeals Panel which
highlighted threats from unde-
clared and existing disease threats.
They have intensified their
campaign in Canberra, specifi-
cally targeting Agriculture
Minister Tony Burke -- the final
arbiter in a dispute that may still
become a Federal election issue.
The decision in mid-June
ignored Apple and Pear
Australia Ltd's argument that
Drosophilia suzukii -- a vinegar
fly endemic in Asia and found in
North America and Europe --
had been undeclared in the
original application by China.
And IRAAP made the decision
on the basis that it was "outside
the grounds of the appeal".
"It highlights the inadequacy of
Biosecurity Australia," said Cam
Stafford, who is chairman of
Lenswood Coldstores Co-opera-
tive Society Ltd and the Apple
Import Taskforce, an Australia-
wide grouping of mainly large
"If it's operating within the
guidelines, it should concern all
horticultural industries subject
to same issues.
"There doesn't seem to be any
scientific premise on which the
decisions are made."
While Drosophilia suzukii is the
main concern, APAL does not
believe due consideration was
given to the probable impact of
other declared pests -- apricot wee-
vil, yanyuan scale, citrophilus mealy
bug, sooty blotch and flyspeck --
with four of the peak body's
objections disallowed by IRAAP.
Growers also cannot under-
stand why BA announced on
March 31 that it had started
pest risk analysis of Drosophilia
suzukii and why there had been
no unrestricted risk assessment
for the other declared pests.
APAL South Australia general
manager Greg Cramond says
"commonsense has been
thrown out the window".
He said without conducting
unrestricted risk assessment,
IRAAP had failed to present a
scientific argument for its rejec-
tion of submissions.
"If you are importing monkeys
from the Congo and emboli
turns up, do you say 'that's
alright'?' he said.
The 'battle' is now focusing on
Canberra where the taskforce is
lobbying parliamentarians from
all political parties in an effort to
bring influence on Mr Burke.
"We need to put pressure on the
Minister to ensure more analysis
in done," Mr Stafford said.
"It is now with him. He has
the power to ask for more scien-
tific work -- it is in his lap."
OPPOSITION Agriculture Minister John Cobb has
come out fighting on behalf of Apple and Pear
Australia Ltd to highlight its concerns about the
possible arrival of apples from China in Australia
While also having concerns about the World
Trade Authority ruling -- as yet undisclosed -- on
the importation of New Zealand apples, he says
the industry needs to know what a "rumoured"
victory for the former meant for the Import Risk
Analysis Appeals Panel decision in June.
"I cannot understand how the Minister (Tony
Burke) can ignore the threat of an incursion of
Chinese fruit fly in the IRA because it isn't in the
terms of reference," Mr Cobb said.
As the Apple Import Taskforce and APAL step-
up their lobbying efforts and media awareness
campaign, Member for Mayo Jamie Briggs,
whose electorate covers the $58 million
Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu apple and pear
industry, has written to Mr Burke higlighting the
inadequacies of the IRAAP decision.
He told the Minister that Drosophila Suzukii
had only just emerged in the United States as a
major pest impacting on a range of fruit
producing industries throughout the country.
"In response to disallowing APAL's objections the
IRAAP indicated that commenting on Drosophila
Suzukii would be commenting on the scientific
merits of the IRA which is outside IRAAP's terms
of reference" Mr Briggs said in the letter.
"It appears the IRAAP is suggesting that if a
serious pest is not considered in any risk
assessment, there are no avenues to appeal the
assessment process. This seems illogical
considering the importance of protecting our
"I would appreciate if you could have the
necessary department investigate this matter
further with a view of assessing the
effectiveness of the IRAAP appeals process and
the validity of APAL's objections." Mr Briggs said
he had also met with Mr Burke at Parliament
House. "He is conscious of the situation," he
IRAAP 'ignores' scientific
Taskforce: implictions for
wider hort industries
APAL queries import
AT A GLANCE
Industry leaders united against imports
Peak bodies draw line in the sand for Canberra battle
Apple industry in shock
FOREST Range apple grower Noel Mason, AG and HC Mason (pictured
with Matthew Hannaford) says the importation of Chinese apples
without correct quarantine processes has the ability to devastate the
industry. "There would be little we could do if diseases caught hold --
we don't have the registered chemicals and it would take too long to
get them," he said. "The apples will also be coming from a country
which doesn't have the labour costs we have or the quality
standards." -- Noel, whose family grows 20 hectares of apples and
1ha of cherries, says he hopes politicians and bureaucrats are
prepared to be accountable if a major disease outbreak happens.
Matthew, who has 10ha of apples and runs beef cattle at Cuddlee
Creek, says he feels let down by the IRAAP decision. "It certainly
makes you wonder what it's about -- we seem to be sacrificing
farming for mining," he said. "Before long, there won't be any
farmers in Australia."
Who will be accountable?
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