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.
Coca-Cola Amatil has confirmed it will be pressing on with its $100 million redevelopment of SPC Ardmona.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
A snake was spotted this afternoon.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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