The Tasmanian Government’s focus on biodiversity has been highlighted in recent quarantine actions published in an official press release.
Including a significant quarantine action on materials imported with a koala headed for a Tasmanian zoo, in order to prevent the potential introduction of the Myrtle Rust disease on gum leaves, shoots and stems present in the cage the koala was being transported in.
Primary Industries Minister Bryan Green today commended Quarantine Tasmania staff on their efforts to protect the State’s environment and primary industries from introduced pests and diseases during the peak tourism season.
“It has been a particularly busy summer period and quarantine staff have done a fantastic job carrying out surveillance and inspections to limit the risk of breaches,” Mr Green said.
Mr Green said that with the volume of visitors and products entering Tasmania daily strategic sampling of products and barrier surveillance helped maintain the integrity of the State’s biosecurity border.
“We have had thousands of passengers arriving on cruise ships in Tasmania’s ports this summer and that has required a major effort by Quarantine Tasmania’s staff.
“Staff have also been carrying out routine surveillance and inspection of quarantine risk material associated with cargo movement into the State.
This includes ongoing surveillance of incoming postal articles at the State’s two major mail centres.
“Other recent Quarantine operations have included screening of vessels arriving and departing for the Antarctic.
Mr Green said that biosecurity was not the sole responsibility of government, but was a shared responsibility that required industry and the community being aware of biosecurity risks and working together to minimise those risks.
“We rely on industry and the community to report suspicious or unknown weeds and insects was well as DPIPWE’s survey and monitoring programs.
Among recent detections were:
A consignment of personal effects from the USA was found to have an infestation of brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) which is an invasive pest in the USA and of significant quarantine concern. The consignment was ordered for fumigation.
Imported live koala (with all permits and destined for a Tasmanian zoo) was held in Quarantine pending removal of gum leaves, shoots and stems from its travel container, to prevent the introduction of the disease Myrtle Rust.
Live marron (yabbies) imported via Australia Post and destined for Bicheno. Prohibited under Inland Fisheries and Animal Health legislation, the marron was held pending destruction.
Live snails found in dog crate imported from Western Australia. Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment entomologist confirmed the snail was not the exotic pest green snail, rather a common garden snail.
Two detections of fruit fly larvae in fruit during routine inspections.