A BOOST for trade is how the declaration of Northern of Tasmania as a ‘Pest Free Area’ has been described.

Agriculture minister David Littleproud and Senator for Tasmania Steve Martin welcomed the news as a positive step for local horticulture.

“Northern Tasmania is officially fruit fly free,” Minister Littleproud said.

“No fruit flies have been detected in Northern Tasmania in the past six months thanks to eradication efforts and movement restrictions have been lifted.

“We are working with trading partners with the help of our overseas agriculture counsellors get international trade back up and running.

“For the fruit exporters of Northern Tasmania we are working to make this happen as soon as possible.”

Senator for Tasmania Steve Martin said the reinstatement was great news for farmers from Northern Tasmania who would no longer be subject to strict movement conditions.

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“I am thrilled Northern Tasmania  has been declared fruit fly free and we can re-commence the domestic trade of our clean, green, well renowned produce,” Mr Martin said;

“Tasmania’s horticulture industry is an important contributor to the economy and our agriculture industry as a whole.”

The government says that in the 2018–19 Budget, it provided $20m to the Tasmanian government to support the state’s response to the Queensland fruit fly outbreak.

Another $100,000 was also provided to Fruit Growers Tasmania to help producers prepare for and respond to biosecurity incidents. The government says it also recently announced $16.9m to support Australia’s commitment to fruit fly management.

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