House debates

Monday, 22 February 2010

Statements by Members

Mr David Elder; Braddon Electorate: Botanical Resources Australia

4:40 pm

Photo of Sid SidebottomSid Sidebottom (Braddon, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

Congratulations to David Elder on his appointment as Deputy Clerk of the House. I have worked with David over a number of years and really value his advice. I congratulate him very much.

I want to talk about pyrethrum and, whilst I am talking about pyrethrum, I would like to talk about Botanical Resources Australia, which is a major manufacturer of pyrethrum extraction oil and pellets in my electorate, based at Ulverstone. Madam Deputy Speaker, I do not know whether you know that pyrethrum is the most widely used botanical or natural insecticide in the world. It is now the insecticide of choice for the environmentally conscious 21st century. Indeed, it was first recorded as a natural insecticide in the Zhou dynasty, some 2,000 years ago.

Forty per cent of the world’s pyrethrum supply is grown in Tasmania, with a harvest area which has increased from 1,000 hectares in 2007 to 2,000 hectares in 2010. If the expansion plans for Botanical Resources Australia go ahead—and I am fairly confident that they will, after visiting them last week—they hope to have something like 4,000 hectares under cultivation by 2013. Last week I was hosted by Matt Greenhill and Brian Chung at the manufacturing centre in Ulverstone, which is in the Forth Valley, not far from my village of Forth, a beautiful area. They are looking to expand particularly the extraction side of their business as it becomes and continues to be enhanced as a world leader in the production of pyrethrum.

BRA, or Botanical Resources Australia, harvest some 8,000 tonnes of pyrethrum flowers in an average year. Pyrethrum is a natural insecticide extracted from the white pyrethrum daisy, which is a member of the chrysanthemum family. Pyrethrum is produced by the plant as its own protection against insect attack and is contained in millions of small oil glands in the outside of the seed coat in the flower’s head. Importantly, pyrethrum is very different from many synthetic insecticides in that, particularly, it is photosensitive—that is, it will break down in UV light into harmless substances.

I congratulate Botanical Resources Australia and thank them very much for hosting me. I look forward to the expansion of their business and thank them very much for the employment opportunities they offer to so many people in my region and in Tasmania as a whole. (Time expired)


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