The Department of Agriculture and Food has released a draft pest categorisation report for stakeholder consultation, as part of a review of washed ware potato imports from other Australian states and territories.
Washed ware potatoes are currently permitted entry into Western Australia from interstate, subject to quarantine measures.
The report, which identifies quarantine pests associated with the washed ware potato pathway, is publically available for comment until 30 January 2017.
Department chief plant biosecurity officer John van Schagen said the current quarantine conditions for potatoes had been in place for more than ten years.
“This policy review aims to ensure these biosecurity measures continue to provide appropriate safeguards against pests and diseases, and comply with interstate trading requirements,” Mr van Schagen said.
“The preparation of this technical document is an early step in this policy review process.
“The department implements and enforces strict quarantine processes to protect agriculture and the environment in WA.
“Import conditions must be scientifically justified under the Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity.”
Mr van Schagen said the pest categorisation process identified quarantine pests that require further assessment to determine the risk they pose to WA.
The draft document has assessed 430 organisms potentially associated with potato production in Australia. Of these organisms, 37 were identified as pests of quarantine concern associated with the washed ware potato pathway.
The department encourages stakeholders or interested parties to review the draft pest categorisation document, available on the department’s website, and provide written submissions to email@example.com by 30 January 2017.
Mr van Schagen said industry would be consulted throughout the process and would be provided another opportunity to comment when the draft policy review is released for stakeholder consultation next year.
At the conclusion of the policy review, WA’s import requirements will be modified to reflect any recommended measures determined in the final policy.
Further information is available here.
Media contacts: Megan Broad/Lisa Bertram, media liaison
+61 (0)8 9368 3937