International chemicals giant GlaxoSmithKline, which has trials of opium poppies growing in northern Victoria showing positive results, says there is room for new growers on the Australian mainland.CATHY WALKER June 24, 2014 3:11am
International chemicals giant GlaxoSmithKline, which has trials of opium poppies growing in northern Victoria showing positive results, says there is room for new growers on the Australian mainland.
Tasmania’s Deputy Premier Jeremy Rockliff last week urged the Federal Government to impose a five-year moratorium on poppy cropping in other states.
He claimed the push to grow poppies interstate would harm Tasmania’s exclusive $100
‘‘GSK does not support a moratorium on commercial poppy production in Victoria,’’ GlaxoSmithKline opiates general manager Steve Morris said.
‘‘We see a strong future for the industry, and that includes production in Victoria.’’
Tasmanian growers have 22
Their poppies supply nearly 50 per cent of the world’s requirements for medicinal alkaloid, the opiates derived from poppies for the manufacture of pain relieving medicine.
But Tasmania-based TPI Enterprises is part of the interstate expansion. It plans to plant poppies on Tipperary Station in the Northern Territory within the next couple of months and last week its managing director told ABC radio expanding to the Top End gave them greater flexibility, particularly in a bad year down south.
Mr Morris said trials in three areas of northern and western Victoria were completed and more poppies were being sown this winter in western Victoria.
‘‘Initial trial results were strong — some in terms of yield, others in regards to the quality of the crop,’’ Mr Morris said.
‘‘Naturally there was some variation, and we have analysed this in determining where we will conduct trials later this year.’’
GSK supplies 25 per cent of the world’s medicinal opiate needs from poppies grown by farmers in Tasmania but Victoria already plays a role — the opiates are extracted from the poppies at its factory in Port Fairy.
The company’s Victorian trials began in July last year and this year, in an amendment to the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981, the Victorian Parliament voted to allow ‘‘the commercial-scale cultivation of alkaloid poppies in Victoria for therapeutic and research purposes’’.
Mr Rockliff said Tasmania wanted the moratorium to provide time to renegotiate a 1971 Commonwealth and state agreement that governs opium poppy production in Australia.
Two men charged over the armed robbery of a Shepparton service station have been remanded in custody until next week.
The 2014 Yarrawonga Mulwala Multisport Festival has been hailed a huge success by organisers and participants alike.
The fifth annual King Billy Retreat Open Garden Party will be held at Rushworth on Saturday and Sunday, October 25-26, from 10 am to 4 pm.
Echuca College students Calum Pearson, Luke Judd, Kiriana Epararma, Harriet Nilon, Kyle Melhuish and Stephanie Chong are heading to China.
A former Rochester resident is helping women with their confidence and their horses.
Accusations of bullying, disrespect and dangerous conduct.
And the school's best all-rounder for this year.
Finley's Mark Whiley has been traded from the GWS Giants to Carlton - the club he has supported all his life.
District residents are being invited to enjoy Oktooberfest celebrations at Tooborac Hotel and Brewery.
Momentum builds for the greatest show in Cobram, with young and old expected to lap up family attractions in sunny conditions.
Water users have welcomed the governments' announcement of a $350 million package for new irrigation efficiency programs in NSW, but say water availability is in need of improvement.
Farmers and anyone interested in big boys’ toys will be fascinated to check out an unmanned helicopter in action at an Ardmona orchard.
Judge comments, If I were single, I'd marry this steak!
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.