Rust containment plans “extremely disappointing”

11 August 2017

The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA) is extremely disappointed to hear the news that the State Government has chosen to manage blueberry rust in Tasmania by regulated containment methods.

The decision comes on the back of calls from the TFGA, blueberry growers and industry stakeholders for the government to ensure that the disease would be eradicated from the State.

TFGA CEO Peter Skillern said that it was now abundantly clear that the advice surrounding blueberry rust in 2016 was not appropriate as it has continued to cause ongoing issues for the industry.

“Having taken this decision, the Government will now have to accept responsibility for future outbreaks of blueberry rust and any decline of the industry in Tasmania, most notably the lucrative organic sector, which represents over 25 per cent,’’ Mr Skillern said.

“Blueberry growers now look forward to an inquiry where they will be able to express their views and present their own evidence in relation to eradication of the rust.

“In a broader context, the TFGA continues to believe that this issue has highlighted serious questions around our biosecurity readiness for other significant incursions in the State.”