Hard-working Capricornia MP Michelle Landry continues to barrack for the local pineapple industry in its push against the possible importation of Malaysian pines.
Ms Landry set up a top level meeting in Canberra today which included Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce, Queensland pineapple industry executives and the chief scientists from Biodiversity within Australia’s Department of Agriculture.
“The local industry fears if fresh de-crowned Malaysian pines were allowed into Australia they would bring in a disease known to make pineapples explode – that would potentially decimate Queensland’s industry,” Ms Landry said.
“The meeting allowed the Minister and our pine industry to question Australia’s top scientists over the bureaucratic reasons as to why we would even think about bringing in Malaysian pineapples and how great the risk of disease might be to us here,” the MP said.
The Malaysian industry is plagued with the devastating disease Erwinia Chrysanthemi – an internal ‘rot’ known to make pineapples explode. Part of the cause is due to an internal build-up of noxious gas that swells inside the fruit, Ms Landry said.
Queensland produces $80 million worth of fresh pines a year.
Today’s meeting was attended by Yeppoon-based Tropical Pines executive Derek Lightfoot and Chris Fullerton of Fullerton Farms at Beerwah – one of the state’s biggest pine producers and Chairman of Queensland Pineapples.
Rockhampton-based Senator Matt Canavan also attended the top level talks.
“The meeting in Parliament House was important for our growers and I am continuing to lobby against the potential import of Malaysian fresh pineapples,” Ms Landry said.
“The Minister listened carefully to the issues and has asked the scientists to do some more homework on the risks and to also look closely into what occurred in Hawaii where the disease was imported there inside foreign pines.”