Biosecurity Laws impacting Interstate Trade

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Biosecurity Laws impacting Interstate Trade

The South Australian Government has tightened green snail control measures which has impacted on grower flexibility in Western Australia. The new determinations by Biosecurity SA have deemed all of Western Australia a risk zone for the green snail. As a result all farmers which host produce susceptible to the green snail will be subjected to routine inspections and pesticide spraying prior to exportation to SA. The restrictions on horticulture imports from Western Australian have also been increased by Victoria and New South Wales. Fumigation is now required for products which are not otherwise licences with freedom certificates.

Western Australian standards for biosecurity have been said to be too weak in protection offered to ensure threats to importing states are minimised. Recent outbreaks of psyllid on tomato varieties have also limited export capacities of WA horticulturalists. The Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia (DAFWA) will be required to update biosecurity laws and regulation in order to limit the impact on horticulturalists in the state although DAFWA has suggested the science for biosecurity decisions in other states to stop horticultural imports from the state are based on outdated science.

The recent Productivity Commission on the Regulation of Agriculture largely recommended a reduction in the bureaucratic design of agricultural regulations. Yet report has recommended that biosecurity laws retain their current state of rigour as this demonstrates to the market that Australian produce is of extremely high quality.

 

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