MEDITERRANEAN FRUIT FLY
51. Hon ROBIN SCOTT to the Minister for Agriculture and
I refer to a communication
signed by 118 persons, stating —
We the undersigned growers in the
Carnarvon Horticultural precinct oppose the Fruit Fly eradication programme in
its current form, and request that the Minister for Agriculture and Food and
the Carnarvon Growers Association discontinue the trial. The levy and the
compliance issues are unfair and too heavy a burden for the industry to carry
and we demand that both be scrapped immediately.
(1) Will the minister confirm that in November 2018,
she received that communication signed by 118 persons?
(2) Will the
minister confirm that she has since received a similar communication signed by
(3) What action
has the minister taken to respond to the concerns of the signatories of these
(4) Has the fruit fly eradication
program been discontinued or suspended; and, if not, why not?
Hon ALANNAH MacTIERNAN
I thank the member for the question.
Member, some people are going to accuse me of setting up a dorothy dixer on
(1)–(4) Yes, I did receive that first
petition that the member mentioned. As a result of that petition, I took myself
into the Carnarvon region, where I had a public meeting with the growers to
talk about this concern. I must admit that I think one of the fantastic things
is that my good friend the member for that region, Vince Catania, and I are on
a unity ticket on this one. I think Hon Ken Baston might have been the minister
at the time this program was started. This is unashamedly a very, very good
program. It is aimed at getting rid of Mediterranean fruit fly in Carnarvon,
which is incredibly important for the continuation of that region. However,
there were legitimate concerns about the way in which the levy was being
As a result of that meeting, I made a
number of propositions. The first was that I would put in a substitute rate and
commence that process to ensure that every commercial operator was rated,
because around 14 operators were not being rated. The second was that we would
take on for this year an additional expense of providing all the sterile fruit
flies to reduce the total amount. The third was that we would relate the charge
to the size of the property, not the value of the property. That is now out for
formal consultation, and that period will close around mid-February.
I really urge everyone to get behind
the program. We should have an absolutely tripartisan view on the need to
eradicate fruit fly in Carnarvon.