is a major agricultural producer and exporter, responsible for 12% of our GDP. Across the country there is a mix of irrigation and dry-land farming with 61% of the land-mass utilised for production. The introduction of a pest, disease or weed into a production area can result in expensive controls being implemented and in a loss of markets.
There is an enormous range of pests
, diseases and weeds which can affect plant industries in Australia
. Some are already present in Australia
and may be confined to small areas of the country. For this reason, each state and territory has its own list of restrictions for the movement of fruit, vegetables, plants, soils, flowers, plant products, agricultural machinery, animals or animal products and recreational equipment. These restrictions are in place to restrict the spread of pests
, diseases and weeds from one part of Australia
These restrictions operate under state and territory legislation and travellers face on-the-spot
fines for taking prohibited items across borders.
Some areas of Australia
are especially stringent with enforcing local quarantine regulations and manned quarantine checkpoints are in place at strategic locations to assist in stopping the movement of restricted items. At these locations, every vehicle is stopped and a quarantine officer will ask you to declare any restricted item. This item will be placed into a quarantine disposal bin
and will be later investigated to check for any diseases and then disposed off. You are not penalised for declaring restricted items at a checkpoint. Quarantine officers may also inspect your vehicle to check for undeclared items. Again, you are not penalised for any items found during such a search.
Other locations are not manned by quarantine officers however signage will alert you that you are at a quarantine border and honesty bins
provided to allow you to stop and dispose of any restricted item. If you fail to dispose of restricted items and are found to be carrying such items you will be fined. By law, you can be flagged down by random mobile quarantine officers at any location in Australia
. It is your responsibility to ensure you are not carrying restriction items at any time.
For travellers that take remote tracks and routes across Australia
, there may be times when you inadvertently could cross a quarantine border that has no checkpoint, and no honesty bin. In these circumstances, you can eat or cook
the prohibited fresh fruit & vegetables that are listed as restricted for that area you are about to enter. Cooked fruits and vegetables are considered to be pest & disease free within the quarantine regulations so this is a logical solution if you find yourself in this situation. Do not use any other method to dispose of fresh fruit or vegetable matter unless there is an official quarantine disposal bin
provided (ie. do not burn or bury fresh produce).
Many people are unaware of these restrictions and are disappointed to have to place fresh produce in disposal bins
at checkpoints, however by checking these regulations you can avoid such waste.