Tuesday 20 September 2016
Hansard of the Legislative Council
Blueberry Rust in Tasmania
Mr FINCH question to LEADER of the GOVERNMENT in the LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL, Dr GOODWIN
- Does Biosecurity Tasmania have the resources it needs to properly manage the blueberry rust situation, or is it having to do the best it can on a shoestring?
- Options appear to exist to eradicate the rust problem in Tasmania without destroying the plants. Have these options been investigated?
- Has the Government any theories on how the rust got into Tasmania?
Mr President, I thank the member for Rosevears for his question.
- Biosecurity Tasmania allocates its resources according to risk. The blueberry rust situation is seen as high risk, and hence resources have been allocated accordingly.
- Biosecurity Tasmania is currently in the data-gathering phase of the response process. An assessment of the appropriate response will be made at the completion of this phase, which will establish the full extent of the infection, the technical feasibility of the various options, and the potential social and economic impacts.
- As part of the response, Biosecurity Tasmania is conducting a 'trace-back' process to try to determine the source of the new incursion. However, it is unlikely that we will ever be 100 per cent sure in this case. The rust can travel on the wind, on people's clothes, on vehicles, and through the movement of infected plants.