The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPRID) is continuing to lead the State’s frontline defence against unwanted pests, diseases and weeds, intercepting more than 24,000kg of risk material in the past 12 months.
Western Australia is free from many pests and diseases found elsewhere in the world and in other parts of Australia, which helps protect our agricultural industries and provides access to high value export markets.
It is important that travellers to WA know what they can and can’t bring in with them to continue to maintain the State’s enviable biosecurity status.
In the 2020-21 financial year, DPIRD’s Quarantine WA officers inspected more than 84,000 vehicles coming through the road checkpoints at Kununurra and Eucla and met nearly 600,000 airline passengers arriving into the State.
Some of the more interesting intercepts include 20kg of pine cones in a vehicle at the WA/SA checkpoint, 40 plants in a vehicle at the WA/NT checkpoint and a large fruit and vegetable assortment of eggplants, garlic, apples, avocados, bananas and green beans from one passenger arriving at the Perth Domestic Airport.
Officers also inspected and certified more than 38,000 livestock being imported into WA and conducted 157,062 inspections on imported produce and seed resulting in 40 significant plant pest intercepts including geometrid moth, mango seed weevil and looper caterpillar.
DPIRD Manager (Import Clearance) Grant MacDonald said keeping out pests, diseases and weeds was a shared responsibility.
“The community, governments, industries, importers and exporters, local producers, and travellers all have to do their bit to maintain our biosecurity to protect our $11 billion agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries industries and our natural resources,” Mr MacDonald said.
“Unwanted pests and diseases can increase costs for primary producers, and disrupt export and domestic trade for agriculture, forest, aquaculture and commercial fishing, as well as affect our unique environment, biodiversity and way of life.”
Mr MacDonald said some of the items people can’t bring into the State included fresh fruit and vegetables, honey, seeds and plants, crustaceans and gardening tools like chainsaws and mowers that are dirty with soil and plant material.
“Used machinery, equipment and cargo containers must be free of soil and plant material when entering WA, and some types of machinery may require certification or prior approval to be imported into the State,” Mr MacDonald said.“Restrictions may also apply to many animals, birds, fish and insects and it is advisable that people check for any requirements before bringing them into WA.
“If in doubt it is always advisable to declare items to a quarantine inspector or deposit them in one of the quarantine bins as penalties may be applied for risk items seized which have not been declared upon arrival into WA.”
For more information about quarantine requirements for WA visit agric.wa.gov.au
Media contact: Katrina Bowers/Megan Broad, media liaison +61 (0)8 9368 3937