24 Aug 2011

No chance of stopping NZ apples now - Groser

9:58 am on 24 August 2011

New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser says there is absolutely no chance an independent senator will get a private member's bill, aimed at stopping the sale of New Zealand apples, through the Australian Parliament.

Apples from this country are now available in Australia after the World Trade Organisation ruled that fears the apples could carry the disease, fireblight, were scientifically invalid.

Senator Nick Xenophon of South Australia says his bill aims to override biosecurity officials, claiming Australians with expertise haven't had a proper chance to make their case.

But Mr Groser says the issue has been dealt with in an excrutiating level of detail.

He says in the face of international opinion, the Australian Government has no choice but to implement the agreed upon quarantine procedure.