Updated statement regarding the proposal to import potatoes from New Zealand
4 October 2012
In order to address New Zealand’s request for access to Australia for potatoes for processing, DAFF commenced a specific review of biosecurity measures for potatoes, developing measures to address all the pests associated with potatoes from New Zealand.
Conditions for the import of potatoes for processing from New Zealand already existed and an update to those conditions was delivered as a result of the 2009 assessment undertaken on zebra chip disease and the tomato-potato psyllid. The purpose of the review currently underway is to determine if the established measures remain appropriate to manage the biosecurity risks.
DAFF released the draft review for stakeholder comment on 3 July 2012 to allow stakeholders to present evidence that they believe support different quarantine measures. The 60 day comment period closed on 3 September 2012 and twenty seven submissions were received.
All submissions will be analysed in full and taken into account prior to finalising the review.
To provide added assurance to stakeholders that the biosecurity measures being developed will appropriately manage the risks for the import of potatoes from New Zealand for processing, DAFF is engaging an external subject matter expert to consider DAFF’s review.
The external reviewer will also examine the latest information on zebra chip disease relevant for the potential import of potatoes from New Zealand for processing.
Until DAFF has analysed all submissions and reviewed the risk assessment, and the external reviewer completed their work, no decision will be made to import potatoes for processing.