Business

Ginger imports from Fiji could put jobs at risk

NOT HAPPY: Langshaw farmer Jo Garrett fears the Australian Government agreement to import ginger from Fiji could jeopardise biosecurity and local jobs. Pictured back are Jerry Creek Ginger workers Tristan Dawes, Dylan Sheib, Ben Bird and Scott Gear.
NOT HAPPY: Langshaw farmer Jo Garrett fears the Australian Government agreement to import ginger from Fiji could jeopardise biosecurity and local jobs. Pictured back are Jerry Creek Ginger workers Tristan Dawes, Dylan Sheib, Ben Bird and Scott Gear. Patrick Woods

GYMPIE jobs and its fledgling local ginger industry are potentially at risk following a Federal Government decision to allow imports of Fijian-grown ginger.

Concerns are held for other local industries also potentially affected by pest and disease risk, including bananas, pineapples and some ornamentals.

Langshaw growers Will and Jo Garrett this week described the decision as "unbelievable" and "short-sighted". Their operation, Jerry Creek Ginger, employs 11 local staff.

The ginger industry has long been an icon of the Sunshine Coast, based around the Buderim Ginger Factory, and in recent times has extended to include more than 10 operations in Gympie and the Mary Valley, and further north to Bundaberg.

The controversial government decision to allow the imports was announced without fanfare in mid-August, despite a Senate-committee recommendation to ban Fijian ginger on biosecurity grounds.

"It mostly seems to be a Free Trade issue - Australia has rushed this decision so as to be seen to be supporting less well-off nations," Ms Garrett said this week.

"But we're gob smacked that this decision flies in the face of the science.

"This government's own senate committee heard scientific evidence regarding the risk of importing disease and pests along with the ginger, including a particular nematode that we have no known remedy for here in Australia - it's the cane toad all over again."

Any undetected arrival of that burrowing nematode (round worm) pest - radopholus similis - could have disastrous implications for many other Australian crops, including citrus and bananas, Ms Garrett said.

Representatives from the Australian Ginger Industry Association have been working with government, agriculture department officers and scientists for several years to address this issue, and were heartened by last year's senate committee finding in favour of the local product.

"As growers, the bottom line for us is that we want to encourage consumers to continue to support the 'buy Australian' philosophy," Ms Garrett said.

"Our industry has been putting money into hiring our own scientists, conducting our own research, in order to show the government the massive biosecurity risks, and we'll continue to do that because ultimately, we want to give Aussie consumers the choice to enjoy wholesome, local product.

"I mean, this imported stuff is going to be sprayed with surface fumigants which haven't been proven to control the burrowing nematode anyway, but who wants to be eating that?"

Gympie Times

Topics:  ginger jobs jobs news



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

Opinion: Technology can't control Mother Nature

Gympie Times Editor Shelley Strachan

Mary Valley farmer's stoicism in the face of adversity

Gundiah drivers safer with new Gutchy Creek bridge

NEW BRIDGE: Transport Minister Darren Chester and Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien get together in the Gympie region earlier this year.

Gundiah drivers safer with new Gutchy Creek bridge opening

Rocky dog owners ripped off thousands in unfair fees

In New South Wales, it costs $150 to register a whole dog and $40 for a desexed dog - for life.

REVELATIONS Rocky dog owners pay 10 times more than they should.

Local Partners

Farmers count the cost after hailstorm devastation

Rob Price and his wife are just two of many who are devastated by hailstorms last week.


Kernaghan's a 'boy from the bush' with a timeless quality

Country music singer Lee Kernaghan.

Lee Kernaghan is celebrating the 25th year of his breakthrough song.

PARTY TIME: Two huge nights of Christmas on Mary

IN THE MOOD: Jade Alexis dressed up for a Mary Christmas on December 14 and 21.

Mary St keeps up its new Christmas night shopping tradition

All your entertainment needs sorted for this weekend

ROCK ON: Travis Collins will be at the Royal Hotel to promote his new album on Friday night

Don't let the bad weather chase away a good time.

Kernaghan's a 'boy from the bush' with a timeless quality

Country music singer Lee Kernaghan.

Lee Kernaghan is celebrating the 25th year of his breakthrough song.

Irina Shayk and Bradley Cooper happy as baby looms

Irina Shayk and Bradley Cooper are in an "extremely happy place"

Brad Pitt bids to keep custody battle private

Brad Pitt will go to court to keep his custody battle private

Sia has split from her husband

Sia has split from her husband Erik Anders Lang.

Amy Schumer thanks Barbie trolls for hateful comments

Amy Schumer is in the lead role for the new Barbie movie

Shannen Doherty's husband is suing for destroyed sex life

Shannen Doherty's husband is suing her former manager

Ipswich City Properties asset portfolio retains its value

Ipswich City Council Administration Building, South Street, Ipswich. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times

New website launched by Ipswich City Council

INSIDE STORY: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

VOTE IN OUR POLL: Sand mine opponents face serious dilemma

Public meeting for the proposed sand mine at Maroochydore last week.

Coast MP calls on Minister to stop KRA proposal with stroke of a pen

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Couple's desperate $550K price drop to sell Gladstone home

Brian Headley and Kirstene Staib are selling their Kin Kora mansion for $750,000.

TELL tale sign of Gladstone's property market.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!