Queensland To Get Infected Pineapples

Queensland To Get Infected Pineapples

Queensland Minister for Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry John McVeigh

Sneaky Senator Dumps On Pineapple Growers

Victor P Taffa

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry John McVeigh said Federal Labor Senator Joe Ludwig is a coward for leaving his final decision to allow imports of fresh Malaysian pineapples until close of business last Friday 14 December, so he could avoid industry and media scrutiny.

Queensland’s pineapple industry is worth $80 Million a year and underpins more than 1,000 jobs, but Senator Ludwig was happy to ignore growers, high-level advice from the US and warnings about pineapple importation disease risks.

Mr. McVeigh said he was disappointed, but not surprised by Senator Ludwig’s actions.

“This is the Christmas message from Labor that no grower wants to hear.” Mr. McVeigh said.

“Clearly the Federal Minister couldn’t care less about Queensland pineapple growers and their local communities.”

“He’s ignored the risks and all the evidence, not just from growers and government scientists in Queensland, but then slipped out his decision late last Friday afternoon in a deliberate attempt to avoid scrutiny.” Mr. McVeigh said.

“He released his interim decision late on a Friday afternoon and he’s done exactly the same sneaky thing with his final decision it’s cowardly.”

Mr. McVeigh said the disease dangers from fresh imports of Malaysian pineapples were too great.

“Bacterial heart rot and fruit collapse are two diseases that are endemic in Malaysia.” Mr. McVeigh said.

“They’ve decimated up to 40 % of pineapple crops in Malaysia and we certainly don’t need to risk our iconic local industry.”

“Queensland has been the nation’s major pineapple producer for a century and allowing these fresh imports will place our industry at enormous risk.” Mr. McVeigh said.

“Mr. Ludwig’s track record as Federal Agriculture Minister continues to be disastrous for Queensland and the rest of the nation he was the minister who rushed to shut down the live cattle trade, now he’s hell-bent on destroying our pineapple industry.”

“Senator Ludwig is totally out of touch with Queensland and Queensland growers. He’s refused to listen to Growcom’s submissions that bacterial fruit collapse is a devastating disease affecting pineapples across Malaysia the disease is undetectable in its latent phase and untreatable.”

“Queensland and Australia desperately needs a Minister who stands for fair trade and the protection of local farm industries from exotic diseases and pests.” Mr. McVeigh said.