A PEAK industry body has revealed that Tasmania definitely has enough land to sustain the state's poppy industry.
The news was revealed yesterday at the first public hearing of the Legislative Council's inquiry into the Tasmanian government's decision to allow poppy capsules to be imported from Turkey.
TPI Enterprises said last year it needed to import about 2000 tonnes of raw poppy capsules because not enough product was produced in Tasmania to meet demand.
Poppy Growers Tasmania chief executive Keith Rice yesterday said recent independent research showed that, at present, the state offered 45,000 hectares of land suitable for growing poppies.
Mr Rice said his organisation had partnered with Department of Primary Industries to engage an independent body to conduct a study into the amount of land available for poppy growing in Tasmania.
``We dispute [TPI's claims], whole-heartedly dispute that [because] there is land now and there has been land in Tasmania,'' Mr Rice said.
``Tasmania Alkaloids grew its largest crop ever this year of 19,000 hectares. GlaxoSmithKline grew 9000 hectares.''
At the hearing, held in Launceston, Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association CEO Jan Davis raised concerns surrounding biosecurity, which Mr Rice shared.
``If you're going to import 2000 tonnes of raw poppy capsule into Tasmania and that's going to take a minimum of 150 to 200 containers . . . the bio-sec and risk associated with that is enormous,'' he said.
Mr Rice said there was also the issue of intellectual property theft, with Tasmanian poppy seeds being taken over to Turkey to be modelled and grown.
Mr Rice said there appeared to have been a severe breakdown of the partnership between TPI Enterprises and Tasmanian farmers.
``Now we're saying that they need to address that problem and address that problem immediately.''