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Apple Growers will March to Parliament

June 14 2005

Apple Growers will March to Parliament

Government WTO announcement right direction but does not meet growers expectations

New Zealand apple growers are now more determined following the Government announcement to discuss its case at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to gain access into the Australian market.

AAAG spokesperson Phil Alison said although it’s a step in the right direction the announcement does not meet industry expectations.

“The government has only asked for the issue to be inscribed on one of the WTO’s committee agendas. It is not the WTO action we asked for and apple growers are still calling for Australia to be formally taken to the WTO”

“The apple industry is united and will continue its planned protest actions including a march to parliament and the Australian Embassy next Wednesday and consumer led boycotts.

“Today’s decision proves that we are at last being taken seriously but we want the government to do more,”

This includes suspending all discussions on Closer Economic Relations (CER) at both ministerial and official levels.

We also want the New Zealand government to withdraw their support of Australia as chair and as a member of the Cairns Group.

Our battle to gain access has taken 85 years and it has been locked up in committees and process – we’ve run out of patience.

The New Zealand Apple Industry needs the issue resolved now.

“These actions will increase pressure on Australia, a country that has played by double standards in regard to free trade for far too long,”

“New Zealand apple growers want meaningful access to Australia – a market that has been closed to them for 85 years despite a free trade agreement between both countries since 1983,” Mr Alison said.

ENDS

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