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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