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TAS Country : December 2nd 2010
Friday, December 3, 2010 Tasmanian Country 15 The world at your fingertips The New Holland Sidewinder II control system puts every tractor function at your fingertips. Combining 15,000 hours of engineering, the input of over 300 customers and the very latest in design technology, we are proud to say that the Sidewinder II is quite simply brilliant. The FR9000 was the first machine to be fitted with the system and won Machine Of The Year Award at Argitechicna. To put the world at your control, contact your New Holland dealer today to learn more about the Sidewinder II. Own a bright future YOUR SAY firstname.lastname@example.org Rock lobster exports a risky business BOMB-SHELL: The Tasmanian rock lobster industry is in crisis. The real problem behind this development appears to be that the Tasmanian rock lobster industry has not invested in a viable business chain to sustain its exports to China.' THERE is nothing surprising about the Tasmanian lobster export crisis. Tasmanian lobster fishermen, and I suspect Minister Green, have been operating in the knowledge that the main supply channel for Tasmanian live lobsters into the China market is via Hong Kong. This channel exists primarily to bypass mainland China's quarantine procedures and taxes. But inevitably this route to mainland China presents risks. The industry has chosen to ignore the risks this represents to the indus- try, because they have been getting good prices. Exporting live lobsters, and keeping them alive until they reach the end customer in mainland China, is a technically tricky business. It is also expensive -- especially if you follow the full mainland China rules. Senator Richard Colbeck shines some light on to the problem in his press statement: ''I understand a very small amount of exports got into China -- under strict and expensive tariff conditions -- following November 15th. The very last shipment took 16 hours to clear Customs and had a mortality rate of almost 50 per cent. That was clearly unacceptable and totally unviable for the industry.'' Instead of avoiding the core issue, Senator Colbeck should instead be asking questions such as: How many tonnes of Australian lobster were exported to Hong Kong in the past 12 months? How many tonnes of Australian lobster were exported to China in the past 12 months? How many tonnes of Australian lobster were declared through Chinese Customs and quarantine in the past 12 months? Will Australia accept Chinese food- stuffs that have not passed through strict Australian quarantine inspec- tion? What can Australia do to smooth the legal trade in high-value perishable foodstuffs with mainland China? The real problem behind this devel- opment appears to be that the Tasman- ian rock lobster industry has not invested in a viable business chain to sustain its exports to China. Catch and forget is not the answer. Another Tasmanian industry ap- pears to have been built as a house of cards. I expect Mr Green will see sense in fixing the problem with a round-table, pre-Christmas emergency bailout and taxpayer-funded industry restructure. I would argue for negotiations with China on a fully transparent supply chain strategy. BEN QUIN Triabunna
November 25th 2010
December 9th 2010