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Senate Committee wants to hear from Tasmania's farmers

Media Release
Christine Milne 11 Feb 2009

 

The Australian Greens are encouraging Tasmania's food producers to contribute to a Senate Inquiry into Australia's food production that will soon visit Tasmania.

The Senate Select Committee on Agriculture and Related Issues is seeking submissions into its inquiry into food production in Australia. The Committee will visit Tasmania for public hearings in Launceston on April 2.

"I strongly urge Tasmanian food growers to take up this opportunity to express their ideas and concerns to the Senate," said Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne.

"This inquiry is an excellent opportunity for Tasmania's vegetable growers to air their concerns about processors importing cheap frozen vegetables from China, forcing down prices to Australian growers.

"I am aware that Tasmania's fruit growers are keen to advance a new research facility in Tasmania. This is your opportunity to put that to the Senate.

"I am also very conscious of concern in Tasmania's rural communities about the displacement of food producing land by managed investment schemes for plantations and the new MIS on steroids - the so-called 'carbon sink forests'."

The inquiry's terms of reference are to inquire into:

Food production in Australia and the question of how to produce food that is:
1. affordable to consumers;
2. viable for production by farmers; and
3. of sustainable impact on the environment.

"With these broad terms of reference, you could comment on anything from innovation and research needs to food labelling, from quarantine arrangements to the impacts of free trade agreements.

"Tasmania's future as a producer of high quality food can only be assured if rural industries are given the support they need to deal with the changing climate and to drive innovation in environmentally sustainable production and marketing.

"I urge people to get involved, make written submissions, and seek to give evidence in Launceston in April," Senator Milne concluded.

The details of the Inquiry and how to get involved are available here: http://www.aph.gov.au/Senate/committee/agric_ctte/food_production/index.htm

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