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Brisbane 30 June 2013. Queensland farmers have received a big boost, with Victoria changing its entry conditions for fruit and vegetables from the State.

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Minister John McVeigh said he welcomed the changes.

“Fruit and vegetables from Queensland that could potentially carry fruit fly will no longer need certification or treatment before entering Victoria,” Mr McVeigh said.

“The changes come into effect on Monday (1 July) and they are great news for Queensland growers and marketers.

“The new conditions apply to all of Victoria except the Pest Free Area of Greater Sunraysia.

“Improving market access for Queensland producers is a key feature of our recently announced Queensland Agriculture Strategy.  This news couldn’t be better for Queensland growers who will not only benefit from wider market access, but reductions in red-tape and decreases to operating costs.

“Before this change, Queensland growers had to certify all fruit fly host produce entering Victoria was free from the pest. Now there is no requirement to certify produce, or treatment for Queensland fruit fly, for access to Victoria.

“Queensland boasts some of the best fruit and vegetables in the country and I have no doubt that growers will make the most of this change to entry conditions.”

Biosecurity Queensland (BQ) is reminding growers to check their Interstate Certification Assurance (ICA) accreditations following changes to Victoria’s entry conditions.

BQ’s Plant Biosecurity and Product Integrity unit manager Mark Panitz said Queensland businesses holding current accreditations should consider Victoria’s change before submitting renewal applications or seeking new accreditations under the ICA scheme.

“This change will affect market access requirements for many businesses currently accredited under the ICA scheme,” Mr Panitz said.

He said the changes would not affect entry conditions for other States requiring certification for fruit fly host produce, or for produce consigned to the fruit fly Pest Free Areas of Victoria and New South Wales.

“Businesses should be aware that it will remain an offence to market host fruit infested with Queensland fruit fly, and Victoria applies heavy penalties to businesses found not complying.”

For more information on moving plants and plant products interstate, visit www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au or call 13 25 23. For more information about changes to Victoria’s Queensland fruit fly status, visit www.dpi.vic.gov.au

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