Australian senator boycotts NZ tour over apple spat
Australian Liberal Party Senator Bill Heffernan has vowed to boycott a tour of New Zealand after the country's apple industry refused his requests to inspect farms for fire blight disease, website Weeklytimesnow.com.au reported.
A Pipfruit New Zealand representative said the industry was 'not interested' in hosting senators to inspect its farms, following Biosecurity Australia's recent acceptance of the country's sufficient export standards.
Heffernan told Weeklytimesnow.com.au he wasn't going to go to New Zealand just for 'afternoon tea'.
"I'll make my own arrangements about inspecting their farm management practices," he was quoted as saying.
Heffernan's idea to inspect New Zealand farmers was supported by Senator Nick Xenophon, while Apple and Pear Australia chairman Darryl Ashton said his argument was 'fair enough', the story reported.
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