The Liberals share the concerns of the Tasmanian Poppy Growers Association about the risks of allowing raw poppy material imports.
Agriculture is one of Tasmania's pillar industries and the Liberals have a plan to grow the industry tenfold to $10 billion per year by 2050. We can only achieve this if we focus on strategic investment in research, skills development, sustainability and long-term post farm gate value adding. We also need to protect the considerable investments that we have already made, such as in the poppy sector.
The Green-Labor Government needs to think very carefully before undermining the poppy industry by allowing the importation of raw poppy materials from overseas.
This is short-term thinking that will damage the long-term future of the poppy industry.
Tasmanian farmers are already facing challenges involving transport costs, the high dollar and greater international competition. The last thing they need is to be faced with more cheap international imports.
It is bad enough that $2 billion has been wiped off the value of farms as a result of the disastrous Green-Labor forestry deal. What sort of message will the Government be sending to investors and customers if it allows the import of a product that Tasmanian farmers have demonstrated they can produce of high quality in a secure environment on a global scale?