The TFGA welcomes the announcement this afternoon by The Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) that it has commissioned an independent review of the decision to issue a conditional exemption to allow the import of washed and ready to eat potatoes into Tasmania from South Australia.

Lois Ransom who has been appointed to undertake the review is a highly credentialed individual and the sector can have every confidence in her capacity to review the decision on the available science. It is imperative that it is the science that determines the eligibility or otherwise of these permits. The DPIPWE secretary is to be commended for taking this step to ensure that all elements of this issue have been covered.

It is important to point out that Minister Guy Barnett has had no role to play in this and the review remains independent of the political dynamics. These decisions need to be undertaken by the appropriate Statutory Officers free of political influences and should be based on the science only. The Ministers commitment to ensure that this process is undertaken in an appropriate manner is to be applauded.