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Sunday 21

October, 201811:33 PM



Strawberry growers receive $350k in relief

Strawberry growers receive $350k in relief

The peak industry group for strawberry growers has received $350,000 in public funds to spend on marketing and packaging.

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By AAP 27.09.2018 12:29 PM

Strawberry growers have been gifted $350,000 in public money to spend on tamper-proof containers and marketing as they recover from the needle contamination affair.

The money will be drawn from a $1 million relief package announced last week and directed to peak industry body Strawberries Australia.

The injection of taxpayer funds is designed to restore confidence of consumers and international markets.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is hopeful the strawberry sabotage saga which brought growers to their knees won't be repeated.

"Anyone who does it - it's 15 years in jail - and if you carry on like an idiot and post something on YouTube because you think it's a lark, 10 years in jail," Mr Morrison told reporters on the Sunshine Coast.

The prime minister would not provide an update on the hunt for the original saboteur.

Nor would he blame Queensland's chief health officer for urging consumers to throw away their strawberries, in direct contradiction to the federal government's "cut them up, don't cut them out" messaging.

"All that matters is governments working together to try and fix things when they go wrong," Mr Morrison said.

"We've got a problem and we've got to muck in and fix it."

Export controls have already been bolstered in the weeks since the tampering outbreak, with almost 100 consignments of strawberries X-rayed and shrink-wrapped before being sent overseas.

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