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.
Mulwala has come from behind to knock Deniliquin out in week one of the Murray Netball League finals.
Although still not at their best, Mulwala have finished on top of the Murray League ladder after a comfortable victory over Cobram.
The International Guide Jamboree will take place at Lake Somerset, South East Queensland from September 25 to October 3, for Guides aged 10-17 years, and will be hosted by Girl Guides Australia.
AFTER the success of the inaugural Community Awareness and Choices Expo on Friday, the event has been confirmed for next year.
ROCHESTER has welcomed its new Uniting Church minister.
Kyabram under pressure to maintain vital top three spot
The Seymour sub-branch of the RSL needs information on local soldiers during World War I.
Berrigan public decides drainage works location
EARTHCOTE Events boss Spiro Boursinos has slammed allegations his annual Pyalong festival is anything but a safe and well organised function.
Handymen and creative builders will now have a safer space to work in after a donation allowed the Cobram Men’s Shed to invest in a defibrillator.
Cancer claims one of its fiercest combatants.
School's in for farming students
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
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.