Hinchinbrook MP, Andrew Cripps, welcomed Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, to Tully on Saturday, during which he visited the now closed Panama TR4 property west of Tully and spoke to farmers at a shed meeting at Blenners Transport depot, south of Tully.
Mr Cripps said he was very pleased to have hosted Mr Joyce, who is also the Commonwealth Minister for Agriculture and Water, given he had played a significant role in securing the Federal LNP Government’s contribution to the buy-out of the Panama TR4 property.
“Along with Queensland LNP Senator, Barry O’Sullivan, the Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce gave the North Queensland banana industry the support we needed to minimise the risk of TR4 and it was great to have the opportunity to recognise that” said Mr Cripps.
“The Federal LNP Government provided financial support for the buy-back of the TR4 property and through the commitment of the Australian Banana Growers Council and the growers through the levy, that property has now been taken out of production” he said.
Mr Cripps said the Deputy Prime Minister met industry leaders and representatives of the Robson family who lost their farm to the TR4 disease, before speaking to a group of farmers at Blenners Transport Depot at Hewitt Siding about a range of current issues.
“This was an appropriate place to impress upon Barnaby how the banana industry is strongly connected to many business, jobs, livelihoods and families across North Queensland and the importance of the contribution the Federal LNP Government had made”.
“It was very unfortunate that the Palaszczuk Labor Government refused to make a contribution to the buy-out of the property, notwithstanding its obvious interest in trying to minimise the risk of TR4 spreading, so thank goodness Barry and Barnaby stepped up to help us”.
Mr Cripps said while he recognised Biosecurity Queensland had undertaken extensive surveillance activities and research associated with the TR4 outbreak since March 2015, Labor had been short-sighted not to assist with the acquisition of the property by the industry.