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Apples Group Lobbying Govt and Aust Consulate

The Australian Apple Access Group is in Wellington to finally collect a crucial but overdue report on the rules for exporting apples to Australia.

New Zealand apple growers have been waiting since February for the Import Risk Assessment (IRA) from Biosecurity Australia.

The IRA will outline the condition of entry for apples into Australia.

Despite continued assurances from the New Zealand Government that the IRA would be out “soon” and within weeks” – there is still no report.

If our Cabinet Minister Phil Goff is to be believed the IRA should surely have been released by now.

But the Government has given growers false hope before:

Australia was meant to release the draft IRA in February but backtracked saying it needed further review

Then on July 4 Phil Goff said “it would be released in a couple of weeks” now it’s the end of November (nearly five months since the announcement)

Also in July Prime Minister Helen Clark, in a bid to win election votes, made out on national television that the apple issue “had been put to bed”.

It is embarrassing for New Zealand that our Government is prepared to let Australia play by its own rules.

Australia claims to lead free trade on the international stage yet remains a hypocrite at home.

The government took a soft option of listing the issue on a WTO phytosanitary committee rather than a full dispute.

Growers have asked that our government to suspend all talks on closer economic relations with Australia.

When will our Government learn how foolish it has been to ever believe Australia will support New Zealand – unless, it’s in its own interests.

Whether it’s rugby, apples or cricket, Australia never plays fair.

Let our Apples in Aussie!

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