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Stepping up surveillance for pests and diseases at the border

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has rigorous and highly effective import declaration, inspection and import treatment requirements in place to reduce the risk of harmful pests and diseases getting into and establishing in Australia.

Despite this, a small percentage of imported items may still contain a hitchhiking pest or disease of biosecurity concern after being imported.

The Biosecurity Act 2015 includes provisions to strengthen our biosecurity surveillance activities to prevent exotic pests and diseases from entering and establishing in Australia. One of the ways we’re doing this is through the National Border Surveillance programme.

National Border Surveillance programme

From November 2016, we will be stepping up our pest surveillance activities at Australia’s borders.

If you are an operator of a premises under an approved arrangement, mail centre, sea port or airport, our biosecurity officers may contact you to seek your permission to undertake field surveillance work on your site.

This work may include:

  • setting and managing pest traps
  • taking samples of plants or insects
  • taking photos of plants or insects of interest.

We can also answer any questions or discuss any concerns you may have about biosecurity especially regarding the top 40 exotic and unwanted plant pests.

If we find anything unusual, we will work with you to contain the pest. This may save your business from additional clean up costs down the track.

Reporting a concern

Managing Australia's biosecurity system is a big job and we can't do it on our own.

If you see an insect, animal or weed that could have entered Australia by hitchhiking on imported goods from overseas, report the biosecurity concern to the department.