23 Aug 2011

Anti-apple bill withdrawn for now

1:00 pm on 23 August 2011

Opposition Agriculture spokesperson in Canberra John Cobb has agreed not to proceed with a Private Member's bill, which could have delayed the entry of New Zealand apples into Australia.

The bill seeks to amend quarantine legislation and ensure adequate protective measures are put in place to keep New Zealand apples out of Australia.

Mr Cobb says he and a small group of Liberal and National MPs, have been invited by the New Zealand Government to visit orchards and see first hand what sort of inspection will be done on apples destined for export to Australia.

He says the trip will determine whether the quarantine protocols are consistent with keeping Australia free of diseases such as fireblight.

Mr Cobb says he will weigh up what he learns in New Zealand and then decide whether he takes any further action with the bill.