Washington apples

A review of the proposal to allow US apples into Australia has moved into its next phase.

Public consultation on a draft risk analysis report closed earlier this month (January 2021).

The Australian Department Agriculture, Water and Environment (DAWE) has begun reviewing submissions on the draft report. The submissions will help DAWE prepare its final report, which is expected to be released in the first half of this year.

Phil Turnbull, chief executive of peak industry body Apple & Pear Australia (APAL), encouraged DAWE to consider all submissions received and matters raised.

“Our submission highlights the significant work to be completed before the report can reasonably inform any decision by the Australian Government,” said Turnbull.

“We expect to have further talks with the department over coming weeks as they consider the many questions asked and concerns detailed in our submission.”

APAL expects its submission will be made public once DAWE finalises its report.

“Given the draft report is a draft, we expect the next iteration will include significant corrections, revisions and further data,”said Turnbull.

“We encourage DAWE to take the time needed to thoroughly consider the submissions and their impact on the draft report, with the understanding that we continue to be available to provide DAWE with further knowledge, experience and industry insight.”