Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Peter Walsh
The Australian Government has banned the import of foreign green prawns after the detection of white spot, a disease harmless to humans but devastating for local prawn populations.
Green, or raw, prawns are sold at supermarkets and fish stores for people to cook at home, but recreational fishers often use them raw as bait.
Three state governments – Western Australia, South Australia and New South Wales – have identified a potential risk to their local fisheries and have issued bans on the domestic import of prawns from wild fisheries and prawn farms along Queensland’s Logan River, where the disease was recently detected.
The Andrews Labor Government is yet to impose a similar ban.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh
The Andrews Labor Government must explain why it hasn’t taken the same pre-emptive steps as other State governments when it comes to protecting the health of Victoria’s wild prawn and crustacean fisheries and the livelihoods of commercial fishermen.
As well as bans on the importation of Logan River prawns, other states are also sensibly warning recreational fishermen to check the origin of any green prawns they intend to use as bait.
Minister Jaala Pulford must urgently explain why the Andrews Government hasn’t adopted the same cautious approach as other states.
Quotes attributable to Tim Bull, Member for Gippsland East
East Gippsland is the home of Victoria’s only commercial prawn fishery, which supports local jobs and businesses in our communities.
I’ve spoken with SIV and local fishermen and no one can understand why Victoria is standing still on this while West Australia, New South Wales and South Australia leapt into action last month having identified potential risks.
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