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Cherry market in Western Australia opens

New Zealand cherries can now be sold in Western Australia, Mr Sutton said today.

He said access in the Western Australian market for New Zealand cherries had been a long-running issue.

Mr Sutton said it was a good way to mark the 20th anniversary year of CER, by expanding trade opportunities.

"We have been asking for New Zealand cherries to be allowed into Western Australia for some time, and I wrote to Australia's Agriculture Minister Warren Truss on this issue late last year. I am delighted that it has now been resolved."

While New Zealand cherries are exported to the other states of Australia, they have been banned from Western Australia for quarantine reasons specific to that state. Western Australia was until several years ago free from brown rot, a disease of stone fruit. Brown rot is now acknowledged to be present in that state, and Western Australia has just agreed that there is now no reason to exclude New Zealand cherries.

Trade access to Western Australia has now been formally agreed by Australian federal and state quarantine authorities, and signed into regulation in Western Australia.

Mr Sutton said the change was very good news for the stone fruit industry.

"Exports to Western Australia will be able to start before the end of the current cherry season."

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