Monday, 31 October 2011
Dear Mr Murphy
Thank you for your letter of 4 July 2011 advising of a petition submitted to the Standing Committee on Petitions regarding the importation of potatoes from New Zealand.
The Government is committed to maintaining Australia's animal and plant health status. Our trade in food and agricultural products is underpinned by a rigorous biosecurity regime based on the latest scientific information and standards.
Under the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (the SPS Agreement), Australia is free to set its own Appropriate Level of Protection and to put in place measures to guard against the entry, establishment or spread of pests and diseases. The SPS Agreement requires that all quarantine measures must be based on scientific evidence. This provides a framework to guard against WTO Members putting in place restrictions that would arbitrarily restrict trade.
Thank you for bringing your views to the attention of the Government.
from the Minister for Trade, Mr Emerson