Problems with officious Quaranteen staff at the SA-WA Border crossing

Submitted: Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 20:45
ThreadID: 104737 Views:5407 Replies:17 FollowUps:51
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Having just crossed the border I would be most interested if any other members have had any words with a female quarantine officer
Enters an expensive motor home with dirty shoes and proceeds to walk on a polished floor leaving the dirt of her shoes behind
Then proceeds to inform us that the leaflet given to us by a SA quarantine officer did not apply in WA despite the fact leaflet clearly states WA
Then inspects the dirty laundry with bare hands then goes to the fridge and freezer
handles our food with same the dirty hands
The damages the catch on a cupboard that she opened with some vigour.
Then informs my wife that the phone call my wife had made to clarify some vegetable/fruit items that the advice she received was rubbish and she must have rung South Australia Ag Department.
Get the picture
IF any member has had this type of problem could they please advise me by PM if you like
Corroboration would assist my formal complaint
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Reply By: equinox - Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 20:53

Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 20:53
Sorry to hear of your dramas.
Here's a plot which bypasses the check point if you ever want to though I do not recommend it for motor homes or if you have items that should be confiscated :-)




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Follow Up By: disco driver - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 01:16

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 01:16
Sorry Equinox, but what you have indicated puts WA agriculture at risk.
Having worked at the checkpoint and seen some of the produce/products that are confiscated from uninformed travellers, one wonders how WA has remained free from a large number of plant and insect pests when people like you make readily available a method of bypassing this important checkpoint.
Just another point, there are a number of mobile checkpoints that check travellers on all access roads/tracks into WA and one does not want to be caught with produce/product that should not be brought into WA if caught on those tracks.

Disco.
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 08:34

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 08:34
I agree with Disco

I wonder how you felt if the wine crop was ruined by someone "bypassing" the checkpoint. Not good advice and I hope the moderators remove the plot. Not to say you posted something against the rules but it is certainly against the good nature of this forum.

Phil
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Follow Up By: AlanTH - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 13:55

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 13:55
Hear hear to that. We've been through there and had a lady do the search, nice person who seemed to care and treated our stuff well. Didn't take more than a few minutes and is well worth it to keep out the pests.....pity they can't eject some of the human type as well. :-)
GCR didn't have a manned post but we dropped off anything we thought may be prohibited just in case but there wasn't much as we knew when we were crossing and used up what we could with that in mind.
Bit of planning wouldn't go amiss if you think you may have illegal stuff....scoff it all.
AlanH.
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 15:08

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 15:08
Alan, (equinox)

Most of your posts I find very informative and interesting however I find your post regarding how to circumvent an inspection point rather distasteful and ill conceived.
Just my opinion, but I feel that this should be removed.

Pop
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Follow Up By: equinox - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 20:11

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 20:11
If I didn't put the disclaimer up then my post may have been poor form; I did however (that's the bit starting with "I do not recommend it...")

Any one who would circumnavigate the checkpoint for unjust reasons could be certainly capable of finding the bypass themselves.

Lighten up!!!


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Follow Up By: R Send - Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 07:54

Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 07:54
Eq,
Disclaimer or not, the lemmings will follow your misguided "advice". You should have resisted the temptation to jump on the keyboard!

Why haven't Admin acted already to remove it?

Phil
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 14:31

Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 14:31
We have no onus to remove Equinox's perfectly valid inclusion of this track (and you'll find it is also listed in Ron Moon's book - Across the Bight & Nullarbor I think). There is another track of course, the Old Stage Coach Rd skirts across the border north of the highway. As ExplorOz'ers, we are always looking for interesting ways to stay off the blacktop - and the Nullarbor coastline is so magnificent its worth exploring rather than sticking to the truck route if you have the means with a 4WD and equipment to take the lesser-known tracks.

These roads are open to traffic - its up to each individual to make their own mind up which route bests suits their needs. Of course, as Equinox states, "if you still have items to be confiscated" you shouldn't be taking these routes.
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 15:04

Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 15:04
Cannot accept that Michelle. His intention was to show us how to break the law.

Phil
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Follow Up By: garrycol - Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 15:09

Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 15:09
Oh Phil - what a load of ........... I don't think there is a law that says you have to cross where there is a manned quarantine point.

If the quarantine people choose not to control a well known legitimate border crossing then that is their issue.

To the mod team - thanks for the application of common sense.

Garry
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 15:38

Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 15:38
Phil, despite what you think it is not up to us. This topic is fine to be discussed in the Forum. If you believe otherwise, you might like to refresh yourself with our Terms of Use.
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 15:47

Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 15:47
Come off it Gary.

The bloke was showing us a way around the quarantine inspection. Okay It in itself is not breaking the law. I agree. But why else would one need to bypass an inspection point. Beats me. Unless they didn't want to hand over the stuff they are not supposed to take across the border.

As he said "which bypasses the check point". I can't see anything about interesting scenery or historical buildings or even that it's a shorter drive.

Would you tell a drunk about an RBT down the road and there is a bypass. Buggered if I would. The sooner he get taken off the road the better. Same thing. You wouldn't want the wine region in SA to be screwed by some bug would you.

Next time you go through an inspection, have a look at the stuff that has been confiscated. Filthy and full of bugs some of it. So you reckon it's fine for this crap to be taken around a bypass do you. I think not Garry.

Phil
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 16:01

Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 16:01
I can’t speak to the intentions of Equinox, or anyone else, but the way I read this is there is an alternative to crossing into WA if you don’t want to present yourself at the manned checkpoint, I didn’t read it as a guide to avoiding the required quarantine restriction.

Actually, I was thankful for this post, as I’m doing the Anne Beadell next year and will factor in this requirement.

I suspect most people respect the requirement wherever they cross...

Also, from Quarantine WA - Advice for the public

"By road

Road checkpoints at Eucla and Kununurra operate 24 hours a day, while desert roads are subject to random mobile inspections. Amnesty bins are located 20 km east of Laverton and on the Tanami Road and Duncan Highway near Halls Creek."
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 16:20

Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 16:20
Thanks Landy

Forgot about the Tanami. Planning a Canning drive and need to check that out. Hoping a solo trip as well.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - Rowdy6032 (WA) - Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 17:15

Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 17:15
Hi

I agree entirely with phil.

The smiley face after "confiscate" says it all.

Obviously the intention is to avoid quarantine.

I have the greatest respect for Equinox and have enjoyed many of his blogs, but feel he is out of line on this one.

Regards
Rowdy
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 17:55

Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 17:55
Thanks Rowdy. I thought that I was going bonkers. Eq has been right so many times. Anyway.

My current dilemma.Canberra, - Alice - cross the border - Bililuna and down the canning. With potatoes. Never tried them after freezing so I hope they will allow just peeled ones and not frozen and peeled. I am awaiting an email. All fingers crossed.

Catchya

Phil
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Follow Up By: Nutta - Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 18:52

Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 18:52
Godddd!! Is this what happens to us in old age!

I'm not looking forward to it!
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Reply By: Hairy (NT) - Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 21:06

Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 21:06
Gday,
Why not write a letter to the quarantine mob and let them do the head hunting?
AnswerID: 519763

Follow Up By: allein m - Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 21:20

Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 21:20
yes I agree time to write a letter to the head office and let them know what is going if you do not tell people in charge what is going on they will not know

I have passed through there many times and never had a problem

I wish you luck and enjoy the rest of the trip do not let this spoil it for you.
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Reply By: Ron N - Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 21:53

Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 21:53
Peter - I've passed through the checkpoint many many times and never had a problem.
As with all "Gubbmint Inspectors", you always come across the occasional Jackboot style operator.

Maybe the W.A. DAF is coming under a little bit of pressure? - or perhaps they're "scraping the barrel" a little, when it comes to staff quality?? It sure sounds like they're lacking in staff training.

The W.A./S.A. border is not exactly a place that is going to see prime candidates for job applicants. In fact, in general, operations in the area of the Nullarbor struggle to keep employees for any length of time. Maybe when you next return, she'll be gone?? [;-)

The WADAF website has an area for customer complaints. Perhaps you could use that to vent on them? Do some practice write-up runs with ear-burning stuff about "utter incompetence", "poorly trained staff", "insensitive treatment", and anything else that gives them the idea you're not happy.
You'll probably get an apologetic reply, but very little will happen, in line with most Govt Depts. [:-(

Cheers, Ron.

http://www.agric.wa.gov.au/CONTACT.html?s=1032266679
AnswerID: 519766

Reply By: Member - Michael N (QLD) - Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 22:16

Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 22:16
This post has been read by the moderation team and has been moderated due to a breach of The Inappropriate Rule .

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Reply By: Dennis Ellery - Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 22:40

Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 22:40
It must have been just terrible to get dirt on that polished floor.
Sounds like she did a good job to me.
The regulations are easily available – if you aren’t aware of them it’s your fault.
AnswerID: 519770

Follow Up By: Member - Michael N (QLD) - Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 22:48

Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 22:48
This post has been read by the moderation team and has been moderated due to a breach of The Trolling Rule .

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Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 23:02

Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 23:02
I got the impression they had their nose put out of joint by not getting their own way.
Written WA regulations aren’t hard to come by.
If you rely on verbal or hearsay advice you don’t have a leg to stand on.
I’ll back the inspector on who was right or wrong on border regulations.
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Follow Up By: Echucan Bob - Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 23:29

Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 23:29
I think its a fair bet that Dennis Ellery and Michael N are petty government officials too.
Why should people who do the right thing have to put up with frustrated Nazis with an attitude problem?
How often have you had to deal with officials in all walks of life who think it is their prerogative to treat the rest of us like criminals? Police, parking inspectors, quarantine inspectors, and the worst are the immigration and customs officials that gravitate to jobs at airports. Private companies are not exempt: banks spring to mind.
The only way to arrest the march of the Nazi is to call them out when it happens.
So I thank Peter E7 for doing the right thing.

Bob

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Follow Up By: Neil & Pauline - Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 23:58

Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 23:58
I have never had a problem with quarantine inspectors at WA border. What I have recently found out that there is now less that is allowed in frozen form. The bottom line is if you have any plant, animal or soil then declare and accept their decision. I don't see how they would get dirty boots as area is all sealed. I always put out our mat to wipe feet for them before they enter.

Neil
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Follow Up By: Member - Michael N (QLD) - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 01:05

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 01:05
Echucan Bob

You and Peter sound like the type of travellers that give the rest of us a bad name. Arrogant, rude and toffy nosed when someone is tying to do a difficult job. I have found through my life that if you give someone in authority a hard time you can expect to be treated in the same way. I have crossed the SA/WA border and had no difficulty with the inspection. The Quarantine Officer was polite and friendly and so was I and my wife. We had no goods confiscated as we had done some research and knew what was not to be taken across the border. It all comes down to common sense. Unfortunately common sense is a rare commodity with a lot of people in this country.

Mick
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Follow Up By: disco driver - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 01:32

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 01:32
Having worked on the checkpoint in a past life, let me tell you a bit about it.
In winter it's damn cold and summer blazing hot and there are around 2-300 vehicles coming into WA every day, All must be checked and/or inspected depending on the indication you find at first look into the vehicle.
Most people are quite accepting of the need to enter caravans/mobile homes etc but there are a few who are rude and arrogant when asked to open up drawers, cupboards etc.
If you happen to be the inspector who has dealt with a fair number of these people in the space of a few hours on your shift is it any wonder that you get a bit short and abrupt.
We all tried not to let the arrogant bugga's get to us but it does happen on occasion.
Don't get all het up, just accept that we are only doing our job protecting WA's agricultural bio security.

Disco.
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Follow Up By: Member - johnat - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 07:45

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 07:45
Not at the WA/SA but at NSW/SA border into SA. Had been to the website for internal quarantine, printed off the regulations and ensured that we were compliant, only to be told by the inspector "We don't take any notice of that, you need to have read the booklet." which booklet he proceeded to give us a copy of.
Strangely enough, the content of the booklet and the website printout were IDENTICAL!
And, the booklet has no date of printing on it so could easily be out of date, whereas the website printout is dated as it comes from the printer = guaranteed currency (provided the website is maintained!)

I agree, the best course of action would be to detail the complaints, much the same as done here, play down the dirty boots but emphasise the dirty hands, and let the employer know about it. Then it is up to them.
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Reply By: Kris and Kev - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 08:47

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 08:47
We have never had a problem and have found the inspectors very polite and helpful. They have a very hard job and you can imagine the people they must have to put up with, every day. If you have ever worked in the enforcement industry you will know what I mean. The inspectors are just normal people so they will have their bad days, like us all. That does not excuse them if they do act wrongly, so make sure you do complain. But I do feel for them. Kevin
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Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 08:47

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 08:47
Absolutely no hassles at all. In fact they have been most courteous.

Methinks there is more to this than we read. Why the phone call? Was it to challenge what they said?. Hmmm If so then, that is a red rag to a bull.

Sorry Peter, but I can't see why anyone in that job would purposely go out to treat you like you say without a reason.

Phil
AnswerID: 519780

Reply By: NTVRX - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 09:27

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 09:27
Hi Peter E7, I have been through the border checkpoint & possibly luck enough to have a very nice male officer check our vehicles. I explained that our Blue Heeler was in her back seat area & would remove dog if he wished. He told me not to bother about dog and proceeded to walk to rear of the Pajero. I told him I had Engel fridge running as a freezer & was operating on highest setting to do so. I informed him I could unhitch van for him to check the freezer (had problem with pajero rear door opening with van hitched....since been fixed) the Inspector looked through the window saw the fridge/freezer setting & moved on telling me no need to unhook van. He entered van....with dirt boots...I didn't expect him to take boots off & it didn't upset me that he made a bit of a mess, my wife & I were also in the van with dirty shoes too!!!! I am sure the Inspectors could tell some "interesting" stories about their experiences with travellers. I always try to be polite but can go from a nice guy to an angry man if provoked. I have a mate who hates people who have any form of authority so imagine what he would be like going through a checkpoint!!! I will not travel with him. Back to your situation,write a letter to the department explaining "the facts" or just put it down to experience for future reference & move on. As for the link posted by a fool about by passing the checkpoint I hope the mod squad give that post the treatment it deserves.
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Reply By: Gone Bush (WA) - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 09:49

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 09:49
Peter, we passed through about two weeks ago and I too was surprised at the attitude from one particular lady inspector.

Her attitude softened when dealing with my wife, but when dealing with me, she was very abrupt. Nothing that would strengthen your complaint though.

I put it down to just having a bad day dealing with the public which is thoroughly understandable.

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Follow Up By: Ron N - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 10:55

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 10:55
Gone Bush - Govt inspectors have very extensive authoritarian powers to penalise and inconvenience people.
They often have little or inadequate training on how to exercise those extensive powers.
In addition, these type of jobs seem to encourage personalities who love "lording" it over people they're investigating.

We all know well, the traffic cop personality who enjoys belittling people and making their lives a misery with petty infringements.

I've encountered many inspectors in my life who were little Nazis. They delighted in being abrupt, abrasive, and making sure people knew "who was boss".

The people in this type of job need to be extensively screened for personality defects - and then trained up at length, in how to approach and deal with people, when they have over-arching investigative and inspection powers - in particular with regard to peoples personal property.

Unfortunately, this doesn't happen enough - and many a time, the wrong people with the wrong attitude, and no "people skills" seem to manage to slot into these jobs.

Yes, the Ag Dept border inspections are very necessary, and a vital part of keeping our state free of invasive weeds and diseases.
However, in the overall scheme of things, luck plays a bigger part than the efforts of Border Quarantine inspectors. There's still a lot of stuff that gets through.

I've imported equipment from Japan, only to find a big hollow component on it - to my horror - full of weeds, a rats nest, and other decidedly risky material - this, after a full AQIS import inspection and clean.
I very carefully and scrupulously removed all the dodgy material, and ensured it was all totally destroyed without any possibility of its release into our environment.

The worse outbreak of agricultural pest in W.A. - skeleton weed from the Eastern States - which cost W.A. possibly hundreds of millions in lost production, vast searches, quarantined paddocks, spraying costs, and removal costs - was introduced into W.A. via (un-inspected) train carriages.

I've been through many Border inspections that were carried out courteously and to the best of the inspectors ability.
I don't believe for one moment that rude and aggressive inspections need to be part of the deal.

A good way to get peoples back up from the word go, is to use the U.S. Immigration approach of treating people like criminals, the instant you come into contact with them, and treating their property as if it was of little value.
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Follow Up By: disco driver - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 15:47

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 15:47
Ron,
You are quite correct in saying that Govt inspectors have extensive powers but to say that they use them to penalise and/or inconvenience people is stretching it more than a little bit.
If the inspector REALLY wanted to inconvenience you, you could have your vehicle totally emptied out, floor mats and all, just in case you had weed seeds under the floor mats, (inadvertently of course).

I've seen what happens when the police have information about a possible drug carrier, and THAT really is an inconvenience compared to what happens at a checkpoint.

Most inspectors have been on the job for a fair while and can pick likely vehicles that need a bit more than a cursory inspection, being arrogant or abusive generally indicates that the vehicle needs more than a cursory inspection.

My advice to travellers is to comply with the regulations regarding what's allowed and what's not, and be polite and agreeable at the checkpoint. It makes life easier for everybody.

Disco.
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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 15:59

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 15:59
I love the way people try to justify so called "petty infringements" ....
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Follow Up By: rocco2010 - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 16:08

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 16:08
I'm with you disco. I was a very young lad when in a car with my dad and he had a lapse of concentration at some lights with a traffic car stopped nearby. There was no danger of an accident but he knew he was in strife and stopped and waited for the patrol. Somehow he managed to convince the policeman not to fine him. As we drove away he said I hoped I had learnt a lesson. What, not go through red lights, I asked. yes, he answered, and always be polite to policemen.
My late brother was a traffic patrolman for many years and he used to call it the A test, A for attitude. basically the first 20 seconds is vital.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 16:26

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 16:26
It's all very well to call govt officials little Nazis, what the real problem is that nobody gives the public any attitude training, some of the posts in this thread are a sad testament to that!

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Reply By: Member - Peter E7 - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 13:00

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 13:00
I thank all those who have replied
The story gets a little more interesting
We have crossed the SA WA border about 8 times in the past years.
NSW/SA as well never have had a problem
Also stick strictly to the rules Carry frozen or tinned food for the 2 or 3 days it takes to get to Perth. Shopping in Norseman or Coolgardie is a bit sparse
Last year had great guy came on board wiped his feet had a good look around explained there had been some changes and told us what we could take across the border very pleasant guy.
Year before a pleasant young lady came on board had a good look around and told us people who look likely not to be carrying prohibited articles quite often did have food got out of the van an said have a safe trip.
How ever about a year before we came across the same individual described in my first post with the same attitude.
I said nothing to her at the time just went quietly about moving on.
However I did happen to know her superior
Upon discussing the individual with him he advised me that he had a number of complaints about this person and she would be counselled about her behaviour.
He also stated the checkpoint was in the wrong place and he had difficulty attracting staff.
Guess what this time same individual
Upon her attendance I immediately left the van and stood 10 metres away my wife was left to attend to the inspection.
I have worn the blue uniform people react to the manner in which they are addressed in most cases.
I will be lodging an official complaint about this great ambassador for Western Australia
AnswerID: 519793

Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 15:05

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 15:05
Peter

You said that you "have worn the blue uniform". I understand by that remark that you are saying that you were in a police force somewhere.

I therefore find it surprising that you both post on a public forum, almost naming and shaming someone and also discussed the staff members actions with a superior. Especially when you had no rights or authority to do so. And you must also understand that anything you read here is pure hearsay and cannot be repeated as part of any official action or letter. What on earth made you discuss internal matters with the superior. Make a complaint yes. But to actually discuss it. No! Wrong.

And why stand back. I wouldn't I would be with them. Not leave it to my wife. And be with them in a pleasant "how can I help" manner.

I can't help but think that it was maybe an RAAF "blue uniform".

As I said before I believe that there is more to it than you are telling us. The more you embellish the more I read that makes the back of my neck itch. If you know what I mean.

I would like to be wrong but there is that itch.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - Peter E7 - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 15:45

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 15:45
Certainly a diverse matters of opinion
Quarantine laws must be complied with no doubt about that
I have achieved what I set out do
I will be making no further comment
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Follow Up By: John and Regina M - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 18:52

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 18:52
Peter e7
It is unfortunate that when u wore your blues you weren't trained in appropriate use of discretion.

Shame on you.
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Reply By: garrycol - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 13:34

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 13:34
Question please - fully understand the rules and why they are there - how are commercial vehicles such as Woolies and Coles trucks allowed to take fresh food etc across the borders when the very same food they carry can be purchased either side of the border but not transferred across.

I have found bugs and eggs in Woolies fruit so the commercial trucks would also be taking stuff across

Another story my Uncle came to a NSW/SA crossing from NSW. On the NSW side there were no bins to put stuff on so my uncle got his stuff and walked the short distance to the bin on the SA side to put his stuff in and was spotted by the officer who returned from lunch or something and my uncle was given the on the spot fine - I think $280 for taking food across the border.

When he arrived at the crossing there was no officer there and could have driven across with no issue but he tried to do the right thing and got punished for it.
AnswerID: 519795

Follow Up By: Lyn W3 - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 20:30

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 20:30
Woolies and Coles produce carried interstate MUST come from certified farms and is inspected prior to shipment and sealed in trucks.
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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 22:48

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 22:48
Yep. The Coles and Woolies supermarkets at Broken Hill must be full of bugs just waiting for the certified produce to arrive. We asked the SA inspector that very question and just got a wry smile.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 23:21

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 23:21
That's gotta be a joke. The amount of grubs and other crap you find in Coles and Woolies lettuces, cabbages, and beans, just to name a few items - means you're looking for meat with your salad unless you're very thorough with the washing and peeling the leaves apart.

A mates father grew vegies for Coles at Dardanup, and he said it was a nightmare trying to keep rodents, insects, and caterpillars at bay from his crops.

I regularly get apples with rotten cores and God-knows-what fungi in the centre. You can get a magnificent-looking apple (Fuji's are bad for this), bite into it, and get a mouthful of foul, rotten insides.

I now cut all my apples before I bite into them, I'm sick of getting apples with rotten and half-rotten cores. It's virtually impossible to take an apple back and complain about it, because they go off so quickly once they're cut - and it's usually night time when I find them.

It's scary to think how Coles and Woolies operate - with produce delivered to huge central warehouses - then distributed from those warehouses to the shopping centres. It's a prime setup for massive distribution of diseases and bugs, if they ever get through.

I've virtually given up on Coles and Woolies for fruit and vegies anyway, and we go to Growers Marts nowadays - where the F&V is local and ten times fresher than anything that Coles and Woolies have dragged 6000 kms across the country for a week, sent to a central warehouse, and then distributed around 3-5 days later.
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FollowupID: 800119

Follow Up By: Lyn W3 - Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 00:59

Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 00:59
Suggest you may want to read the ICA Regulations, One of our farms is certified and believe me the inspectors can turn up at anytime unannounced

ICA Regulations
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Follow Up By: rooster350 - Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 09:02

Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 09:02
A lot of the apples at our local supermarkets are supplied by a local grower, so they certainly have not been "dragged 6000kms across the country"...maybe about 15kms from the orchards, and I would tend to believe that that would be the same in localities that could supply fresh fruit and vegies...not saying that they do not have a central distribution point but they do buy local when they can...cheers
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Follow Up By: Lyn W3 - Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 12:09

Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 12:09
Woolies and Coles both require producers to be signed up with Freshcare before they will accept any produce.

Freshcare Australia Quality Assurance
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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 12:09

Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 12:09
Rooster - I don't doubt that.

The reason we enquired - fairly, but not totally, light-heartedly I should say - was that while we were offloading our newly purchased Broken Hill Woolies f 'n veg a "Fresh Food" semi was waved through without the blink of an eye. Now some might believe the BH FF semis contain different (bug ridden?) produce to those continuing across the border but I'm more than a little sceptical.

The one rule fits all private citizens is for simplicity and I completely understand that. Inspectors can't be certain that the food you have is from the same "certified" source as the semi so you have to bin it. Interesting that the fruit fly inspection station at Albury was been done away with. I suspect that the reality of the national (and now international) distribution of fruit and veg led authorities to see that control at the source (farm and storage/packing localities) was a far more sensible approach. That doesn't preclude the need for Q inpection in some circumstances of course. The ramifications for industry are potentially horrendous.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 13:49

Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 13:49
Of course, I guess you're all aware that only 5% of commercially imported food is actually checked or tested - as AQIS makes it quite clear it doesn't have the staff nor the ability to check every shipment.
To check every shipment thoroughly would require a doubling or tripling of AQIS staff numbers.
AQIS inspect on a random or "intelligence" basis. They spend more time looking for illegal drugs than they do looking for pests and diseases.

Now we have the Gubbmint producing the brilliant idea that certain overseas companies/corporations can be certified as "self-governing" when it comes to biosecurity, in relation to food imports.
This setup in is the current "Biosecurity Bill 2012", which is currently being approved by Parliament (see section 2, "Approval of Proposed Arrangement").

http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=s897

This arrangement is on a par with the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation scheme - which governs the maintenance of heavy trucks - whereby "accredited" companies can be allowed to maintain their own trucks with only cursory oversight.
We have seen how this scheme has failed us with the Cootes fuel tanker disaster.

With many overseas companies and cultures thriving on corruption, kickbacks and total disregard of laws and regulations - let alone the infiltration of these companies by criminal gangs such as the Mafia, Camorra, N'drangheta, and Motorcycle gangs - then by allowing these organisation to self-police their biosecurity, we are effectively handing over our biosecurity control to these people.
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Follow Up By: Rockape - Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 15:43

Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 15:43
Ron,
just to show the result of people by-passing rules. This is what happened at Emerald, all the citrus crops had to be dozed and burnt.

Emerald Canker Link
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 16:01

Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 16:01
Rockape, that Citrus Canker episode is just the tip of the iceberg, and the last paragraph in the story says it all.

While we have Border Quarantine people carrying out inspections with great enthusiasm - the major players such as the Federal operatives in AQIS are failing, in even their basic duty, to protect our National biosecurity.

This Citrus Canker episode at Emerald warrants a Royal Commission into how a company and its directors and managers have never been prosecuted for the importation of diseased cuttings - particularly in the devious manner in which it was done. It appears they've used Rottweiler lawyers to subvert any attempt to investigate and prosecute.

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Reply By: John and Regina M - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 13:57

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 13:57
I have found many times you get what you give.
And I always take what I read as a complaint with scepticism regarding what are proffered as facts.

And of course we will never hear the other side of the story so people get away with it.

Mention has been made of people having off days. I think there can be dickheads on both sides.
AnswerID: 519797

Reply By: Rockape - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 14:03

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 14:03
This post has been read by the moderation team and has been moderated due to a breach of The Inappropriate Rule .

Forum Moderation Team
AnswerID: 519799

Reply By: Gone Bush (WA) - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 17:30

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 17:30
Just an interesting note:

A friend of mine passed through from east to west several months ago. Like most of us he parked up in the grounds of the BP servo and had lunch (the last of the "forbidden fruit).

When he pulled up at the inspection place he was greeted: "Good morning Mr D....." using his real surname. They obviously have access to ownership details via numberplates.

I'm glad I ain't too scared to be lazy
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AnswerID: 519816

Follow Up By: Lyn W3 - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 20:37

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 20:37
Gone Bush, Yes the new technology the Police are using now is incredible (or scary) depending on your point of view. The rooftop camera using number plate recognition automatically reads the number plate and if anything is out of line an alert comes up on their screen.
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Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 21:10

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 21:10
Yes Lyn, but this wasn't the Police using it.

I'm glad I ain't too scared to be lazy
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Reply By: Member - Outback Gazz - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 22:06

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 22:06
G'day to Rockape

Tried replying to your comment but I got culled too

Probably because I agreed !

Cheers


Gazz
AnswerID: 519836

Follow Up By: Member - Peter E7 - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 22:41

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 22:41
Thanks Gazz
Whilst the laws and enforcement of these laws is essential there is the right and wrong way to do it
People react positively to reason and a gentle friendly attitude.
What we have endured as pointed out elsewhere was bullying
If she has problems with the job leave and get another
What goes round comes around I may lack discretion but I sure know bullying when I endure it
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Follow Up By: Rockape - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 22:54

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 22:54
Gazz,
Yep! I got the pork sword for telling the truth.

I don't bully people or harass them.(just a little bit) One thing, I do is tell it as I see it.

Having worked with many women in some really driven mens world, I find it offensive to be labeled sexist because I stated the truth.

I posted about Toots Holizmier and my admiration for her but I am still labeled as sexist.

I think I am done with political correctness.


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FollowupID: 800117

Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 14:56

Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 14:56
I too have been through this check point a number of times in recent years.
Never had any issues, I simply ensure I have nothing to declare such as fruit and anything else I have that I'm not sure about I simply offer it up and ask if it's permitted or not. If not allowed it's handed over, no issue.

The staff have always been pretty good and I don't go out of my way to be uncooperative, they are just doing their job.


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AnswerID: 519863

Follow Up By: Mark T6 - Sunday, Oct 20, 2013 at 17:09

Sunday, Oct 20, 2013 at 17:09
Exactly how it should be done!!

I went through in July, never had an issue they are doing their job and I simply let them do it....if you act like you have the "s..ts" with the process then you'll probably get the same in return.
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FollowupID: 800426

Reply By: KevinE - Thursday, Oct 24, 2013 at 10:21

Thursday, Oct 24, 2013 at 10:21
I empathise, but can't really help you with your complaint Peter; we have had a similar issue at the Kununurra checkpoint a couple of years ago. A male inspector going through our fridge with bare hands, moving the meat, bread etc around after he had been searching our used bedding. A couple of pairs of rubber gloves would have been a nice touch!

We were very friendly, polite & compliant. That wasn't the issue. We watched & waited as he made the 2 cars in front of us unload everything they had onto the ground & then load it back up again - at least we didn't suffer that! The guy simply had an attitude.

I understand the need for checkpoints & went through the one near Renmark on Tuesday this week; the difference was amazing! The officer there was extremely professional & equally friendly & he still got the job done! The contrast was amazing!

Perhaps as has been said above, the remote areas attract different people to the job, or maybe its a training issue? It only seems to occur in WA?

We're off over the Nullarbor next & I'm thankful of the link posted above, not because I want to smuggle food, because I don't. But simply because an incident like we had at Kununurra can spoil our day & who needs it!
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