House debates

Monday, 30 November 2020

Statements by Members

Tasmania: Berry Industry

1:33 pm

Photo of Brian MitchellBrian Mitchell (Lyons, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to visit the Costa berry farm at Dunorlan, just outside Deloraine in the north-west of my electorate. I would like to thank the regional manager, Cameron Folder, for showing me around the farm and sharing his passion for the industry. We were joined by Andrew Terry from Tas Berries, another local from a well-known farming family with deep roots in the region.

Thanks in part to irrigation innovations that started under Labor governments, Tasmania's berry industry is booming. It's now worth almost $200 million to our state economy and employs almost 6,000 people during harvesting season, and Costa is a huge part of this wonderful success story. I was particularly interested to hear about Costa's plans to trial the use of bumblebees to increase production. The government has previously committed to amending the EPBC Act, which is necessary to allow this trial in Tasmania to proceed. But we have come to learn that with the Liberals an announcement does not mean a delivery. I do support this trial, and I encourage the government to get off its backside and get buzzing. We need this trial to go forward, because agriculture needs the innovation. Agriculture in Tasmania cannot afford these unnecessary hold-ups, particularly now with so much uncertainty. The government should make good on its promise to get this trial up and running.