March 10th 2001

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: Nationals: the last hurrah?

EDITORIAL: Government embraces the politics of panic

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Competition Policy the next to go?

INDONESIA: Borneo violence further weakens Wahid

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: Why refugees are a soft target

Help needed for North Queensland farmers

DRUGS: Drug policy criticised by international board

Straws in the Wind

Letter: Kim Beazley - look at the record

Senate inquiry attacks NZ apple import proposal

ECONOMICS: Trade blocs - where will Australia fit?


HUMAN RIGHTS: Amnesty Report may sink China's Olympic bid

HEALTH: Lessons of SA abortion experience

COMMENT: Paul Lyneham - Australia's H. L. Mencken

Teen books gone from "honest" to "offensive"

Letter: Refugees - coarsening of attitudes

Letter: Alice Springs - Darwin railway

Letter: One Nation

Books promotion page

Senate inquiry attacks NZ apple import proposal

by News Weekly

News Weekly, March 10, 2001
The Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee has indicated that it will come down strongly against Biosecurity Australia and Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service recommendation to allow imported apples from fire blight-affected New Zealand.

Committee Chairman, Winston Crane, recently told the Weekly Times that the Import Risk Analysis (IRA) on NZ apples was "just too inconclusive and conflicting. It's early days but I thing it's very clear at this stage, we adopt the precautionary principle."

Another committee member, Julian McGauran, said that the science behind the IRA was unconvincing and the risks too great.

Parliament Secretary for the Environment, Sharman Stone, also attacked the IRA for ignoring the threat to indigenous species and cereals crops from eight or nine other pests that could also gain entry with NZ apples.

Australia's leading expert on fire blight, Dr Satish Wimalajeewa, told the Senate inquiry that the Goulburn Valley in central Victoria, which produces 90% of Australia's pears, had a climate similar to that of California's Sacramento Valley. The latter's pear industry was virtually wiped out by fire blight last century.

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