“A POSITIVE step forward for Tasmanian farmers” is how agriculture minister David Littleproud has described a decision by South Korea to reopen trade with northern Tasmania.

South Korea is the first country to green light exports from northern Tasmania following the outbreak of Queensland fruit fly last year.

Agriculture minister David Littleproud and senator for Tasmania Steve Martin welcomed the news as a positive step forward for Tasmanian farmers.

“Korea has re-opened trade with northern Tasmania, recognising the successful eradication of Queensland fruit fly from the area,” Mr Littleproud said.

“This means Tasmanian farmers can now export fruit to Korea, a valuable export market worth $12.9m to Australia in 2017-18, without delays or additional costs.

“We are working closely with other importing countries to re-open the trade and working with our state colleagues to provide additional information as it is requested.

“We hope to recommence all international trade as soon as possible.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Nationals Senator for Tasmania Steve Martin said the government’s top priority was maintaining Australia’s biosecurity status to keep trade going.

“We are doing everything in our power to manage risks to our industries like Queensland fruit fly,” Senator Martin said.

Minister Littleproud said the federal government provided $20m to the Tasmanian government to support the state’s response to the Queensland fruit fly outbreak.

“These investments helped to safeguard the state, industries, businesses and community from the impact of Queensland fruit fly and other serious biosecurity pests,” he said.

ADVERTISEMENT