Grain Producers Australia welcomes the announcement by Minister Littleproud, on additional sea container measures to manage the risks of Khapra beetle incursion into Australia.
The changes to import requirements means that all sea containers from khapra target countries and packed with high-risk plant products will need mandatory treatment offshore before entering Australia.
GPA Deputy Chairman Mr Barry Large said “the funding and protocol changes are an important step towards improving our response to the khapra threat and prevent the beetle entering Australia.”
“Whatever we can do to stop khapra coming into Australia should be done – we are khapra free and our markets value that”, said Mr Large.
Mr Large said, “when it comes to biosecurity, we all know it is far cheaper to stop things at the border than manage it post-border”.
GPA welcomes the investment from the Government and welcomes improvements to Australia's border biosecurity systems. GPA are strong advocates for the need to implement a levy on all incoming containers. The levy would provide additional funding to support Australia's biosecurity systems to keep pace with the international container movements.
Mr Large said, “This investment highlights the need for a container levy to ensure importers are contributing towards the costs of supporting our biosecurity activities. Containers are a major vector for serious pests coming into Australia. It is no longer acceptable the industries importing products and putting our national biosecurity at constant risk are not funding biosecurity activities.”
Australian plant industries, particularly farmers, contribute substantial biosecurity levies. “We also cover the costs imposed on Australian industries by the Department through the fully cost recovered export certification system”, said Mr Large.
Barry Large, Deputy Chairman, Grain Producers Australia, Tel: 0427 549 023
Tanya Pittard, Policy Manager, Grain Producers Australia, Tel: 0438 365 049