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Aussie Politics Is Applesauce

1 December 2006

Aussie Politics Is Applesauce

New Zealand First is not surprised at the decision by Australia to impose severe restrictions on apple imports from New Zealand, saying that such a ruling was predictable.

“The release of the final Import Risk Analysis report undertaken by Biosecurity Australia denies any meaningful access to the Australian market for New Zealand apple exporters,” said Agriculture spokesperson Doug Woolerton.

“Even though the fire blight argument was deemed by the World Trade Organisation to be an insufficient excuse to block apple imports more than three years ago, it will take more than that to change a position of over 80 years standing.

“We never believed that they would be fair about this, and this decision confirms that view.

“It is a shame that it has come to this but the Government has no choice but to pursue this issue with the WTO.

“Australia’s resort to an effective non-tariff barrier for New Zealand apples shows how serious they are about protecting their apple growers from any meaningful competition. Despite this setback, I am confident that Export Year 2007 will assist our apple growers to explore alternative markets elsewhere,” said Mr Woolerton.

ENDS

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