Banana compo leaves farmers out of pocket
FAR Northern banana growers who suffered massive losses in the Panama disease scare have expressed their shock at suggestions they will not receive any more compensation.
Agriculture ministers Barnaby Joyce and Bill Byrne issued a joint statement on Monday declaring “final payments” had been made to the Reppel and Robson families.
They will be reimbursed a combined $ 684,243 for the net revenue foregone during the period they were unable to trade, with both governments and the Australian Banana Growers’ Council to share the cost.
But that will go little way to covering the losses, according to the families’ legal adviser Ian Conrad of MacDonnells Law. He yesterday sought clarification on whether more compensation was still to come.
Bevan Robson’s 160ha farm near Tully was placed in lockdown for eight weeks after Panama disease Tropical Race 4 was detected on March 3.
It was the state’s first case of the soil- borne fungus that virtually wiped out the industry in the Northern Territory.
About a month later, operations were suspended at Mark Reppel’s two plantations near Mareeba following a TR4positive test result, which was later revealed to be incorrect.