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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries
    The Honourable Mark Furner

    New TV campaign to prepare banana growers for Panama

    Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries
    The Honourable Mark Furner

    Wednesday, June 27, 2018

    New TV campaign to prepare banana growers for Panama

    An emotive new television commercial aimed at improving grower awareness about how to prevent the spread of Panama TR-4 disease has been launched.

    Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the advertisement features local banana farmer Mark Nucifora.

    “This video not only showcases the beautiful surrounds of Mark’s farm near Innisfail, it highlights the important steps he has taken to ensure his farm isn’t affected by Panama TR-4,” Mr Furner said.

    “Whether it is erecting fences, diligently washing down machinery or restricting movement on and off the farm, Mark is a shining example to the rest of the industry how we can limit the impact of this disease.

    “By identifying these risks and regularly reminding growers throughout the region of the ever-present threat of Panama, it is hoped we can limit its spread to more properties.”

    Mr Furner said the Palaszczuk Government was committed to helping protect the banana industry, which is vital to Far North Queensland.

    “When I first took over the Agriculture portfolio the first thing I did was travel to Far North Queensland to meet with the Australian Banana Growers Council and hear about how farmers were affected by Panama TR-4 disease,” Mr Furner said.

    “Since then I have made it my priority to fight to protect Queensland’s banana industry, which provides 95% of Australia’s banana product.

    “That is why it was so heartening to see increased funding of $5.3 million over three years allocated in the budget to the Agriculture portfolio for containment measures to limit the spread of Panama TR-4.”

    Australian Banana Growers’ Council Chair Stephen Lowe said the industry welcomed the new campaign and the Queensland Government’s ongoing efforts to raise awareness of this disease.

    “Panama TR4 is the biggest challenge facing the Australian banana industry right now," Mr Lowe said.

    “Bananas are intrinsic to North Queensland and it’s important that both growers and the community more broadly play their part in preventing the spread of this disease.

    “Australian banana farm production, primarily based in this region, is valued at $600m. Many of our dedicated growers have already gone to great lengths to safeguard the industry and we hope this new campaign will encourage more growers, residents and tourists to get on board.”

    The advertisement is expected to begin being shown online and on television next month.

    Media: Brock Taylor – 0427 018 178