SENATOR THE HON RICHARD COLBECK

Senator for Tasmania

Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries and Forestry
Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation, Industry and Science

M E D I A R E L E A S E

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fenthion breakthrough close for WA

Senator Richard Colbeck has applauded an emerging solution to restrictions on the chemical, fenthion, which is shaping up to cost fruit growers millions.

Senator Colbeck said it appeared protocols were about to be approved by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) which would allow fenthion’s use in Western Australia.

He said the involvement of the WA-based Hills Orchard Improvement Group was important in bringing about the change.

There also was collaboration from WA Senators, Dr Chris Back and Glenn Sterle, the WA Chamber of Fruit and Vegetables and the APVMA.

“I think we are close to a workable solution,” Senator Colbeck said.

“By providing spray diaries to my office, which are being used to substantiate current industry practice, the Hills Orchard Improvement Group has helped unlock a considerable challenge for the industry.

“This is a great outcome for the industry and goes to show the value of having quality assurance systems in place. Without this data and the independent verification of current practices, this outcome would not be possible.”

Senator Colbeck said he also wanted to know what Minister for Agriculture Joe Ludwig had done about this critical industry issue.

“We’ve been working on this problem in co-operation with growers and there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel,” Senator Colbeck said.

“What we’ve not seen is any real engagement or interest by a Minister who is again missing in action on a big dilemma in his portfolio.”

Fenthion is a chemical which has been widely used to control fruit fly by citrus and stone fruit growers.

Senator Colbeck said he understood new APVMA rules would be in place for WA growers as early as next week.
Senator Richard Colbeck