There’s been a lot written about the threats to the global economy at the moment, but no-one has spent much time on a press release sent out by the Banana Growers’s Council last Month entitled ‘Consumers Urged Not to Plant Backyard Bananas’’. As the cost of bananas has soared 470 percent after Cyclone Yasi, criminal elements and bikie gangs have transferred their “talents” from Meth-Amphetimines to Lady-Fingers. Not only is this destroying the livelihoods of honest Banana croppers up north, but it could also contribute to the spread of the most devastating banana disease “The Banana Bunchy Top Virus”. I’ve always been incredibly proud of our nations dogged fight against the Bunchy Top. Indeed I consider it to be one of the greatest stories of heroism never told. All this could now be undone, by the growing street trade in tropical fruits.
So if you, or someone you know, is sheltering an illegal banana crop under a camouflage net somewhere, flush them down the dunny before it’s too late. It’s well known that flirting with illegal bananas can lead to harder fruit. From what I’ve heard several illegal banana growers have already moved onto quandongs and some even to cumquats. I’m presenting a petition to the Agriculture minister tomorrow calling for the formation of a crack Banana Squad with powers to detain suspects for up to a week without trial. I’m also planning to establish a Banana Tip off Line; for concerned citizens to ring if they see any suspicious smoothie activity in their area.
Many of you enjoying a naughty lady finger right now, probably think this is all a bit of a laugh. But if you, like me, had seen an innocent banana cut down by “Bunchy Top” in it’s prime, you wouldn’t be smiling.
So next time you whoop it up with an illegal Banana Spilt, think about this- the next thing you might be “a-peeling” will be a prison sentence.
Tom Thomlinson. Young National.