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MINISTER AGREES TO REVIEW DECISION FOR ERRADICATION OF ASIAN HONEY BEE

After Senate Report Finds They Can Be Eradicated!

Kim Booth MP
Greens Primary Industry spokesperson

The Tasmanian Greens today successfully lobbied the Minister for Primary Industries, to review his previous decision to only classify the Asian Honey Bee as a Category 2 Biosecurity threat.

Greens Primary Industry spokesperson Kim Booth MP said that due to the new evidence which he provided the Minister in the Budget Estimates hearings, he has now agreed to review Tasmania’s position and so potentially protect Tasmania’s Primary Industries sector from the so-called ‘cane toad with wings’.

“If the Asian Honey Bee were to enter Tasmania, they could wipe out the European Honey Bee and undermine $5-6 million worth of honey production in Tasmania and $200 million of pollination services (for cherries, blueberries, apricots, cabbages, cauliflowers etc),” Mr Booth said.

“The previous position by the Minister to classify the Asian Honey Bee as a Category 2 threat only, was based on erroneous information which stated that it was impossible to eradicate the Asian Honey Bee.

“The Senate Rural Affairs and Transport References committee tabled its report last week, which found that the preivous information was wrong and that it is in fact possible to eradicate the Asian Honey Bee.”

“Today in the Budget Estimates hearings, I bought this information to the Minister’s attention and he has since committed to review Tasmania’s position, which means that we are now in with a fighting chance to stop the spread of the Asian Honey Bee before it reaches our shores.”

“The Asian Honey Bee first entered Australia and established colonies in Cairns in May 2007. Since then, the $5 million annual trade in the export of live bees with the United States has been suspended.”

“A national eradication effort commenced in April 2010 but was foolishly abandoned mid-November 2010. The decision to abandon eradication efforts has now been challenged by the report from the Senate Inquiry and the Minister now must make his decision based on good science rather than bad politics,” Mr Booth said.
Kim Booth MP Greens Primary Industry spokesperson

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