19 March, 2014
The Coalition is delivering on its election commitment to build a more prosperous Tasmania with the announcement of the Fruit and Vegetable Taskforce members who will develop an industry-led growth plan for the sector.
Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, announced the membership as part of the Coalition's ongoing commitment to strengthening the growth, productivity and sustainability of Tasmania's primary industries in partnership with industry.
Minister Joyce said the Coalition was committed to improving economic performance by building on Tasmania's natural advantages.
"The fruit and vegetable industries are important to Tasmania, contributing about $240 million a year to the state's economy," Minister Joyce said.
"Simplot growers met with Senator Colbeck last year to discuss the issues facing them. Senator Colbeck has been instrumental in establishing the taskforce and will continue to be involved with its deliberations and discussions.
"The expert industry taskforce will prepare a plan detailing what industry and governments can do to promote competitiveness, investment and jobs growth in the fruit and vegetable industries.
"The plan will feed into the 'Joint Commonwealth and Tasmanian Economic Council' and will complement and contribute to the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.
"Supporting and developing our primary industries is a government priority and I look forward to seeing the broad experience and insight the taskforce will bring in producing this plan for Tasmania," Senator Colbeck said.
"The Fruit and Vegetable Taskforce includes some very experienced members, who I am confident will make an excellent contribution."
The members of the Fruit and Vegetable Taskforce are:
Dr Michele Allan (Chair)
Mr David Addison of Charlton Farms
Ms Sally Chandler from the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Mr Andrew Craigie from Heathermoor and Springbanks farms
Mr Simon Drum of Harvest Moon
Mr Callum Elder of Simplot Australia
Mr Stuart Greenhill of Greenhill Bros
Ms Lucy Gregg from Reid Fruits
Mr Howard Hansen of Hansen Orchards
Mr Anthony Houston of Houston Farms
Mr Chris Oldfield from Tasmanian Irrigation Pty Ltd
Mr Michael Toby of Costa Group
Coalition members of the taskforce will be Minister Joyce and Mr Eric Hutchinson MP, the Federal Member for Lyons.