Skip links and keyboard navigation

    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    JOINT STATEMENT
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
    Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries and Minister for Sport and Racing
    The Honourable Bill Byrne

    Premier calls on all Queenslanders to support the banana industry

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries and Minister for Sport and Racing
    The Honourable Bill Byrne

    Monday, March 16, 2015

    Premier calls on all Queenslanders to support the banana industry

    Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today outlined the Queensland Government’s initial response to the Panama disease outbreak in north Queensland, as well as urging Queenslanders to continue supporting the state’s banana industry.

    "I want to reassure Queenslanders that Queensland bananas on store shelves are safe, and as tasty as ever,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

    “The issue we’re confronting now doesn’t have any impact on the bananas themselves, which means consumers should not shy away from them when they’re doing their weekly fruit and vege shop.

    “It’s important we all continue to support the banana industry as it goes through these tough times. If you buy Queensland-grown bananas on a regular basis, keep doing so, and if you don’t, now’s a great time to start.”

    The Premier said the Government had been in regular discussions with the banana growing industry and the producers affected.

    “Test results on the weekend officially confirmed the presence of the disease on a quarantined farm near Tully.

    “Today Cabinet has signed off on the Government’s initial response to the Panama outbreak.

    “Biosecurity Queensland (BQ) will boost the two command centres currently operating in Brisbane and Tully to a 50-strong team.

    “BQ’s immediate task is to contain the disease as best they can.

    “We will also establish a joint government and industry taskforce to begin the planning work for a medium and long term response to this disease.

    “Starting that work now means that we'll be prepared to support the region when we know the full extent of the spread.

    “There’s no doubt this is a concerning time. The banana industry is nationally significant, and as such we are inviting the Federal Government to join and fully support this Taskforce.”

    Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne said other arms of the Government would be activated in order to support those affected.

    "This is not just a biosecurity issue. The $600 million banana industry is very important to Queensland and the associated communities and supply chains,” Mr Byrne said.

    “While a medium and long term response is being formulated, the Government will mobilise a Community Support Action Team that will work within the local community and alongside the biosecurity staff already in the region.
     
    "While BQ is managing and containing any spread of the disease, this Action Team will be working to provide support to those affected in Tully.
     
    "This will involve financial counsellors and personal support for farmers, their families and workers, should they be needed, and will be led by the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services.

    “Our first goal is to limit any potential spread of the disease, but we have to recognise that with recent weather events and the amount of time the disease has probably already been in the region, more properties could be affected.”

    16 March, 2015

    Media contact:

    Minister Byrne’s office: 3719 7571

    Premier’s office: 3719 7021