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TAS Country : January 27th 2011
10 Tasmanian Country Friday, January 28, 2011 Company Hitting the trail to horse KAROLIN MacGREGOR THE Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen's Association annual get-together is a highlight on the calender for many horse enthusi- asts, and this year will be no exception. This year's get-together will be held on the Pengil- ley family's property, Brambletye, next weekend. It is the 24th get-together for the association, which was originally formed in 1986 after moves by the state government to stop grazing in some privately owned areas of Tasmania's high country. Now the get-together is a must-see event for many people who travel across the state to the different properties where the event is held each year. Association president Tracey Boon said Bramb- letye, where the event is being held this year, was a fantastic property that had a long history of horse events, including the annu- al picnic races in which she has competed in the past. ''The property owner Keith Pengilley has been really good,'' she said. ''He's very keen, even though he hasn't actually been to a get-together. It's great when we can work with property owners like that who are really helpful. ''We never have trouble finding a venue, the prop- erty owners in Tassie are great.'' Ms Boon is the associ- ation's second longest- serving member and has been involved with the group since it started. She said the close-knit committee was more like a family. Everyone got one really well. ''I guess because we do so much together through- out the year we all know each other really well and everyone gets on really well, so it's a really nice committee to be involved with,'' she said. As well as the get- together the association also holds trails rides regu- larly through the year, and walks for non-riding mem- bers. The association is also responsible for mainten- ance of an historic building in the central highlands called Allisons Hut, which is near Liawenee. The group also helps out on a variety of projects, including weed removal on high country grazing areas, and helps to raise awareness about rec- News Chinese apples prompt chemical fears STICKING POINT: Australian apples have a label informing the customer of the country of origin. JUST 5 per cent of Chinese apples arriving in Aust- ralia will have samples taken for chemical testing. Critics have described the testing rate as ''mad'', while growers have slam- med the lack of proper country-of-origin labelling on the imported apples. The first shipment of Chinese apples arrived in Sydney on January 14 after the Federal Government signed off on import proto- cols last year. A spokeswoman for the Department of Agricul- ture, Fisheries and For- estry said: ''Consignments are monitored by the Aust- ralian Quarantine Inspec- tion Service for com- pliance with Australian food standards at the rate of 5 per cent.'' She said apples were con- sidered a ''low food-safety risk'' because they came under the category of ''fresh imported horticulture''. ''Chinese apples are sub- ject to the same testing regime as all other fresh horticulture imported into Australia,'' she said. A source in the import and export business said Australia was ''mad'' not to increase testing of the Chinese apples. ''It's well known that the Japanese increased testing of vegetables coming in from China because they were finding high levels of chemicals, and Vietnam and Thailand have also had problems,'' the source said. ''If your kids were eating them, you'd be double-washing them.'' AusBuy chief executive Lynne Wilkinson said 20 per cent of consignments should be tested. She said laws governing country-of- origin labelling were not properly enforced. Apple and Pear Aust- ralia chairman Darryl Ashton said he would like AQIS to do ''as much test- ing as possible'', but ''we realise the restrictions on the Australian Govern- ment, AQIS and Bio- security Australia through World Trade Organisation membership''. ''The real issue is country-of-origin label- ling,'' Mr Ashton said. ''Most Australian fruit has the district it comes from on it, plus a 'Produce of Australia' sticker. The apples coming in from China only have 'Great Wall' written on them.'' He said many retail out- lets failed to use signs informing customers of the country of origin of pro- duce, and the law requir- ing the signs was not policed. 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