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2023 Media releases

Fruit industry leader awarded inaugural Tasmanian Industry Biosecurity Award

Fruit Growers Tasmania | Wednesday, 6 December 2023, 4.00pm

"Fruit Growers Tasmania is delighted at the announcement of Nic Hansen as the inaugural recipient of the Tasmanian Industry Biosecurity Award”, CEO Peter Cornish said.

The awards recognise outstanding individuals, groups and organisations that have shown a strong commitment to supporting and promoting biosecurity in Tasmania.

“Today’s award recognises the enormous personal efforts and contributions of Nic Hansen through his leadership in Tasmania’s 2018 Queensland fruit fly outbreak and the improvements that have been put in place since. At the time, the response to the incursion was the largest biosecurity response in Tasmania’s history”, Peter said.

Scott Price, President of Fruit Growers Tasmania, said that Nic Hansen’s efforts could not be overstated. “Nic was the President of Fruit Growers Tasmania at the time, and as an industry leader Nic made the personal decision to step away from his own business and devote all his time and effort towards the outbreak response.

“He worked closely with the Tasmanian Government to manage an incredibly difficult situation. Nic became the personal face and champion for biosecurity in Tasmania, about why biosecurity is important, and how we can all do our part.

“It is fitting that the Tasmanian State Government has recognised his efforts with this award”, Scott said.

Peter explained the importance of Nic’s actions during the response. “One of the biggest challenges was supporting the financial viability of growers. He was meeting constantly with growers of capsicums, avocados, tomatoes, egg plants, cherries, apples, pears and berries to ensure their concerns were heard, issues identified and their questions answered,” Peter said.

“With the Government, protocols were developed which allowed our produce to reach markets outside the state. This included establishing a fumigation facility to treat fruit.

“Nic also worked to ensure affected retailers could continue to receive their produce and supply their customers during the emergency response.

“In many ways he made sure growers and retailers had a tomorrow to look forward to.”

Speaking of the impact of Nic’s actions, Scott Price reflected “Nic worked tirelessly to make sure the eradication response was successful and that those people and businesses caught up in the outbreak response were looked after in a way that was fair and transparent.

“The Tasmanian fruit industry will forever be grateful to Nic Hansen for his efforts during the 2018 incursion and for the improvements that followed, and we can think of no person more deserving of recognition as the inaugural winner of the Tasmanian Industry Biosecurity Award.”

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