Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud has acknowledged industry concerns with delays in receiving biosecurity document assessment, and inspections services from his department. Minister Littleproud said the Australian Government was making all efforts to manage the increased demand at the border and reduce the impact on industry while still effectively managing biosecurity and imported food risks.
“International trade volumes and emerging biosecurity risks will only continue to grow,” Minister Littleproud said. “We cannot afford to compromise Australia’s biosecurity to achieve better service delivery outcomes. While biosecurity must come first, it is also important that we explore more innovative ways of operating. Doing more of the same is not an option. Partnering and co-design activities with industry at both a grass roots and strategic level will be critical to achieving reform, while ensuring the flow of trade and goods to Australian consumers keeps moving.
“Australia is facing significant and changing threats posed by exotic pests and diseases such as African swine fever, brown marmorated stink bug and khapra beetle, which would all have devastating effects on agricultural industries, the environment, exports and our economy if they established here.”
“We are lucky to be free from these harmful pests and diseases and we want to keep it that way, as the impacts would be felt across communities, including businesses trying to recover from the effects of the COVID pandemic.”
“My department is currently working on a number of initiatives which will help to manage biosecurity risks more effectively and efficiently at the border. These include: 3D x-ray and auto-detection technologies, training detector dogs to detect priority pests, automation to increase the speed and accuracy of biosecurity document assessment, piloting virtual inspections and trialling RealWare’s hands-free Smartglasses.”