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Source: State of Tasmania Government

15 October 2020

Guy Barnett, Minister for Primary Industries and Water

Labor’s continuing scaremongering on the issue of potato imports is a disgrace and Bec White’s latest attempt is pathetic.

I have been very clear that Tasmania relies on national and international arrangements for trade and biosecurity. Breaching these arrangements would significantly damage our own export markets, and we must ensure these arrangements are upheld.

An independent review from an expert found the decision around South Australian potatoes was justified and technically sound. It also made three recommendations as additional safeguards, which have been accepted by the Department and are now being implemented.

There is no greater supporter of Tasmanian agriculture than our Government. We will continue to support Tasmanian farmers, including our potato growers, and of course, we support the agreed trade and biosecurity arrangements that support and protect these industries.

This includes complying with relevant national and international government agreements, trade agreements, and legal expectations. Our biosecurity system is based on science and evidence, independent of political opinion, and we will continue to work with the industry to ensure our strong biosecurity standards in Tasmania.

White’s latest effort offers nothing new. Clearly she does not know what she is talking about, otherwise she wouldn’t attempt to undermine our biosecurity and trade arrangements with her pathetic politics.