Senate establishes citrus inquiry

A Senate committee inquiry into the Australian citrus industry provides a great opportunity for growers according to Anne Ruston, Senator for South Australia.

The inquiry will look at the structure of the industry as well as issues surrounding export opportunities, supply chain efficiencies and competition.

“The citrus industry has been through a very tough time recently so I am hopeful this inquiry will produce some positive and constructive outcomes and solutions” Senator Ruston said. “I encourage anyone who has an interest in the citrus industry to make a submission.

“An efficient and robust structure is needed for the industry so it can withstand the constant external pressures of cheap imports, the high Australian dollar, pests and diseases, and weather events.

"This structure also needs to be sufficiently representative of the industry at all levels, and fully transparent and accountable to growers in all aspects.

“There is also a role for the Government to play in this process as I'm sure there are many efficiencies to be gained by reduced red tape and streamlining of regulatory processes.

"The Australian citrus industry is a world leader in high quality produce and best practice farming, but pressures on the industry have seen it losing share in export markets. Costs of production are in some cases not being met, which threatens not only the industry's sustainability but the economies of regional communities.

"I look forward to seeing submissions that offer some effective solutions to these problems, and which provide for a viable and sustainable citrus industry in the future.

"Ideally, solutions will come from within the industry itself. The Australian citrus industry was built with hard work and innovation over many decades, and I am confident these traits will see the industry through these tough times,” Senator Ruston said.

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