Business

Ginger growers back move for stronger biosecurity

John Savelio picks ginger in the Mary Valley. PHOTO: RENEE PILCHER
John Savelio picks ginger in the Mary Valley. PHOTO: RENEE PILCHER

GYMPIE region ginger growers have backed a move for stronger laws on biosecurity.

The support comes after horticulture organisation Growcom called for the Import Risk Analyses of pineapples, ginger and potatoes to be overturned.

The advice followed a report released from the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Reference Committee, which outlines the effects of imported produce on Australian growers.

The local ginger industry has experienced several difficulties in the past two years and Gympie grower John Dickfos said if biosecurity laws were not tightened, it would be another knock for the industry.

"We have had all sorts of pressures: pests, climate change and drought, and this is another issue to deal with," he said.

"If something is not done (with biosecurity) it will eat away at our viability.

"Our industry is worth saving and it's significant to hundreds of people."

The Australian Ginger Industry Association has recommended the importation of fresh ginger from Fiji be reassessed.

President Anthony Rehbein said Federal Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, must consider tougher restrictions.

"We have argued from the outset that the extent and quality of the scientific information used by the department to underpin the draft Import Risk Analysis and measure risk was woefully inadequate," Mr Rehbein said.

Gympie and regional grower Shane Templeton agreed, adding there had not been enough research conducted in Fiji to determine all the risks of imported ginger.

"There are two pests we are concerned about: the yam scale and Fijian burrowing nematode," he said.

"We have always questioned whether Fiji has enough scientific evidence about disease and pests.

"Biosecurity Australia has said the risk was not strong enough and we feel due diligence has not been served and the senate inquiry upholds that."

Chief advocate Rachel Mackenzie said Joyce needed to consider the recommendations made regarding the biosecurity concerns.

"These are based on scientific analyses of the very real threats to domestic production from identified pests, including bacterial fruit collapse and heart rot in pineapples," she said.

"We understand our call to overturn these IRAs is unchartered waters but the findings of the committee are unequivocal that the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has been lax in protecting Australia's biosecurity.

"Now that the focus has turned once again to increasing Australia's agricultural production and productivity to meet Asian food demands, and in particular to growing overseas markets for exports, it is to be hoped biosecurity threats to future markets will be taken more seriously."

Gympie Times

Topics:  biosecurity, farmer, ginger



Gunalda service hub could create up to 50 new jobs

The new United service centre being built just south of Gunalda.

A $10m service centre at Gunalda will boost employment

Talented young musicians hitting all the right notes

PITCH PERFECT: Gympie High School Students Eliza Parker and Sarah Thomas ahead of their big weekend at the Conservatorium in Brisbane.

YOUNG Gympie musicians are hitting the next level.

SURF ALERT: Swell goes on holidays

Yesterday produced small conditions at Alexandra Beach.

Week's end saw the tail-end of a severe southern storm clip the east

Local Partners

Trump's comments make light of statutory rape

Trevor Noah has gone to town on Donald Trump's sexism

Forza Horizon 3 review: Australia's never looked so good

Fancy racing a freight train?

Byron Bay, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Twelve Apostles feature

Tommy goes home in emotional Bachelorette episode

The Bachelorette contestant Tommy Saggus.

BRISBANE bachelor hopes show will give him more confidence.

Talented young musicians hitting all the right notes

PITCH PERFECT: Gympie High School Students Eliza Parker and Sarah Thomas ahead of their big weekend at the Conservatorium in Brisbane.

YOUNG Gympie musicians are hitting the next level.

Kim Kardashian West wants restraining order against prankster

She was attacked by Vitalii Sediuk for the second time in two years

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

Gympie Century 21 owner forges his own path

ON THE ROAD TO SUCCESS: Billy Mitchell (right) with Queensland franchise manager at Century 21, Glenn Stanton.

It's been a meteoric rise over the past few years for Billy Mitchell

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Huge Gunalda service station set to open by December

NEW STATION: The Gunalda Service Centre, owned by United Petroleum, will include a 350-seat eating area and a truckers lounge.

The massive servo is the biggest United development in Queensland.

Highway upgrade drives momentum in affordable market

Accessibility and affordability are keeping interest high

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.