Frontline biosecurity defence vital to the State

Frontline biosecurity defence vital to the State

download (1)The State Government is safeguarding Western Australia’s $7 billion agrifood industry from destructive animal and plant diseases, pests and weeds.

 

Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston said frontline biosecurity defence was vital.

 

“Being able to stop the risk at the WA border not only protects our agricultural industries but provides a competitive market advantage,” Mr Baston said.

 

The Department of Agriculture and Food’s Quarantine WA service inspectors, located at entry points, seized more than 43,000 kilograms of risk material from airport and road checkpoints in the 2014-15 financial year.

 

Quarantine risk items include fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, honey, plants and soils. Restrictions also apply to many animals, birds, fish and insects, as well as vehicles including machinery, cargo containers and vessels.

 

Quarantine inspections intercepted 109 significant pests including mango seed weevil in mangoes, coffee bean weevil in bananas, light brown apple moth in cherries, geometrid moth in cut flowers and sweet potato weevil in sweet potatoes.

 

“For the 2014-15 financial year, a continued strong border quarantine program resulted in the prevention of exotic pests and diseases entering the State, enabling WA to maintain area freedom from many pests and diseases found in other States,” the Minister said.

 

Mr Baston said biosecurity was a shared responsibility of the whole community.

 

“It is important to understand how something as simple as bringing a piece of fruit or plant material into Western Australia can impact on our agriculture industries if it is harbouring pests or diseases,” he said.

 

Quarantine WA also monitors rail freight and the Perth Postal Centre for potential threats. They also assess requests to import seeds and animals.

 

Fact File

  • In 2014-15, 129,168 vehicles were inspected at the WA-SA and WA-NT border
  • 10,332kg of risk material was collected from airport amnesty bins across the State
  • The State Government committed $32 million to biosecurity and regulation in 2014-15
  • For more info, visit http://www.agric.wa.gov.au  or call Quarantine WA on 9334 1800

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