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Apple and stonefruit industry members await new directives from MPI – due to be delivered within 24 hours

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Apple and stonefruit industry members are waiting on new directives from MPI which will determine the fate of over 48,000 apple and stonefruit trees. The initial directive, issued by MPI under Section 116 of the Biosecurity Act was deemed unlawful by the High Court, sending the parties into discussions regarding alternatives to the initial contain and/or destroy directive.

Justice Cooke has extended the interim orders to 5:00pm Wednesday 5 September 2018, maintaining the status quo for the plants and plant materials.

MPI may now exercise statutory powers under different Sections of the Biosecurity Act (possibly Section 114, 121 or 122). These may be delivered as early as today, but will need to be communicated by the deadline of 5:00pm tomorrow.

If MPI issue revised directives, the industry members also expect to see a detailed testing plan, which should define a pathway for the release of plant materials from containment.

Once this information has been received from MPI, and fully reviewed by the industry members, the group will be able to consider their position and determine their next steps.

The group is hopeful that MPI will be reasonable and take a common sense approach to the management of the various plant materials, hence avoiding any requirement to return to the High Court for further judgment.


  • Source: A Catalyst Communications release