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Bostock - Apple Access Sppeech At Parliament

June 22 2005

Apple Access Sppeech At Parliament

Australia Apple Access Group member John Bostock’s Speech at Parliament Protest for Apple Access to Australia

We share a common history, we share a common language and we share common international treaty obligations. BUT Australia is not giving us a fair deal.

We have turned up in force from all over NZ by boat, by air, by steam train, by coach and even tractor to tell our politicians and the Australians we have had enough.

We have had a guts full of unfair treatment by Australia under our mutual international agreements.

Our goal is simple we want full and free access for our apples to Australia.

The science is clear the World Trade Organisation has ruled - you can not get fire blight from mature apples.

The Australians are not treating us fairly. Our country accepts their tasteless tomatoes, melons, strawberries, sweet corn and pineapples with a real risk of carrying Mediterranean fruit fly, spiders and other nasty pests.

Yet Australia will not import our apples which have no risk of fire blight a fact which has been proven and accepted by scientists all over the world.

We have had our formal application before Australia for 15 years. Australia has used every trick in the book to delay and use process as a weapon against us.

We believe these tactics will be used forever to frustrate us. We have had enough. Now it is the time for action.

The NZ politicians have been weak and gutless in dealing with Australia. We invited our Minister of Agriculture and Trade Jim Sutton to be here today with plenty of notice. But apparently he has better things to do!

In the face of Australian arrogance we are asking.

Firstly all politicians commit to taking Australia to a full WTO legal case and suspend all discussions under CER until apple access is resolved.

Secondly we demand that Australia be fired from chairing and being a member of the Cairns group of likeminded agricultural nations.

Australia is not fit to lead this group of 20 nations when they continue to use unfair barriers to protect their own market.

Australians are hypocrites – they won’t accept our apples, but it’s no secret they are taking the budwood of our new apple varieties.

Thirdly we ask the New Zealand public to support us and hit the Australians where it hurts.

Stop buying and eating tasteless Australian produce?

Show them what it’s like to be left in the cold.

Finally to Australia. You are not getting a good deal from your own apple growers. Australians have one of the lowest consumption of apples in world.

New Zealand has exciting apple varieties that have real crunch and taste.

The Australian public has never had the opportunity to taste our forbidden fruit.

Australia has the worst apples in the world at ridiculous prices – it is no wonder Australians are eating so few apples.

Our message is simple.

We demand our politicians get tough and stand up to the Australians.

Back us and don’t let Australia cheat.

No More Forbidden Fruit – Let our apples in Aussie!

ENDS

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