Banana ban breached not broken

The same brown-shirts that daily lecture, prod, sniff and x-ray tourists and returning citizens at the border will swarm all over the innocent fruit, no doubt pushing the landed-price up to uncompetitive levels in the name of our ‘conservative’ quarantine system.

“The quarantinemeasures include:
  • exports only from areas that demonstrate low pest prevalence
  • registration of export blocks
  • inspections to detect the presence of any diseases
  • ongoing inspections of blocks and fruit, including by Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service inspectors
  • disinfection and fungicide spraying
  • mandatory pre-clearance arrangements with the presence and involvement of AQIS
  • inspectors in the Philippines in applying quarantine conditions in the field, including in packing houses
  • auditing and verification by AQIS of systems and processes used by the Philippines to certify any exports
  • detailed data and documentation to be provided by the Philippines for consideration by Australia prior to any exports to verify and validate quarantine measures underpinned by laboratory and field experiments and commercial trials.”
Extract from Biosecurity Australia

The import ban has been a ridiculous impost on consumers. It has also hurt our commercial and trade relations with many of the developing countries of our region that produce competitively priced, high quality bananas (Philippines, Thailand and the Islands of the South Pacific). All this for an industry whose annual value is a paltry $300 million at the farm-gate—about 1.5 percent of crop production— and whose exports are zero. That should cause every taxpayer to ask what value we have had from this very expensive nine year oddessey through the minutiae of banana pathology.

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