Milne says free trade deal would hurt apple and pear growers
By Leone Knight
19th April 2012
The Greens leader says the proposed Trans-Pacific Free Trade Agreement would put the Australian apple and pear industry at risk.
Christine Milne is touring regional and rural communities, and has met horticulturalists at Orange in the central west of NSW.
Discussions included the plan to set up a Pacific free trade zone of nine countries, including Australia, New Zealand and the United States.
Senator Milne says she supports Apple and Pear Australia’s request for $22 million of research and development funds.
"So what we now have to do is pour money into apples and pears to make sure they can continue to compete with the imported product," she said.
"It’s one of the issues with the Trans-Pacific Free Trade Agreement; we have to make sure in those agreements that you’ve got environmental compliance and labour standards, or else we are just not going to be able to compete."