Kim Chance

Kim Chance

Minister for Agriculture and Food; Forestry; the Mid West and Wheatbelt; Great Southern

    New laws to keep mail pest, weed and disease-free

    31/03/2008 12:00 AM
     

    Western Australia has welcomed new Commonwealth legislation to allow interstate mail to be opened if it is believed to contain prohibited materials.

     

    Agriculture and Food Minister Kim Chance said the new regulations allowed a parcel to be removed from the normal postal system if there were reasonable grounds for believing it contained quarantine risk material.

     

    “In the presence of a Quarantine WA inspector, a parcel can be opened by an Australia Post authorised examiner,” Mr Chance said.

     

    “If quarantine risk material is seized, the quarantine inspector must notify the intended recipient and the sender where identifiable, to inform them of the correct quarantine entry conditions for WA.

     

    “If the parcel contains no quarantine risk material it will be returned to the postal system.”

     

    The Minister said the changes allowed Australia Post and the State Government to safeguard the State against quarantine risks, while maintaining the security of the postal system.

     

    “This is a proactive move to provide greater safeguards so plants, pests and diseases don’t enter the State,” he said.

     

    “It is imperative that we protect our agriculture industries, natural environment and lifestyle from exotic pests, diseases and weeds that are present elsewhere in Australia.

     

    “Our continual aim is to try to educate the public so people understand the regulations and comply with them.”

     

    The Department of Agriculture and Food has installed a new RapiScan (x-ray machine) to enable its Quarantine WA inspectors to scan interstate parcels at the Perth Parcel Centre in Welshpool.

     

    The new legislation is the Australian Postal Corporation Amendment (Quarantine Inspection and Other Measures) Bill.

     

    Minister's office - 9213 6700