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Western Australia fruit exports to resume after pest quarantine lifted

Staff Writer |
Exports of West Australian apples, pears, and stone fruit will resume into all states with the tomato potato psyllid quarantine effectively lifted.

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Strawberries and leafy vegetables will also be allowed to trade again under updated quarantine measures, which will include washing produce, targeted inspections, and secure packaging.

States agreed to lift strict restrictions put in place to halt the spread of the psyllid during an emergency meeting in Adelaide this week.

Minister for Agriculture and Food Alannah MacTiernan said she hoped the lifting of trade restrictions would provide some relief to growers, some of whom stood to lose tens of millions of dollars.

Ms McTiernan said seed potato growers were still unable to trade. She said potato exports were still "a big issue" and progress on trade was stalled because of a fundamental disagreement with other states on testing for the bacterium associated with the psyllid.

Seed Potato Growers Association of Western Australia chair Colin Ayres said he was disappointed seed potato growers would be unable to resume trade.

"At this stage 20 percent of potatoes grown for eastern states markets have no value because they've missed their planting slot.

"In a matter of days that will go to 60 percent because those clients will have sourced material to plant from elsewhere and by the end of June that goes to 90 percent," he said.

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