Home > APAL's submission: Biosecurity Import Risk Analysis Guidelines

APAL's submission: Biosecurity Import Risk Analysis Guidelines

Editorial
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The Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has called for input on the draft Biosecurity Import Risk Analysis Guidelines.

APAL has responded to the request for feedback on proposed changes to the risk assessment system that is used when overseas countries wish to export their fresh produce to Australia.

The proposals contain some good initiatives. The inclusion of a Scientific Advisory Group to provide advice at several points along the assessment process is a welcomed move, as is the appointment of a Biosecurity Liaison Officer.

Consultation around the biosecurity assessment pathway is crucial because it is, legitimately, of key concern to growers. APAL understands that the Government undertakes internal reviews to ensure that the risk of entry, establishment and spread to the import risk assessment process.

APAL requires the confidence to reassure growers that all pests and diseases of concern have been assessed and that effective phyto-sanitary measures can be imposed if they are not sufficiently managed in the orchard and packing shed.

A key concern about the new proposals is that there is no obligation on the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources to consult with industry prior to embarking on a non-regulated risk assessment. Regulated risk assessments have structured steps and require public consultation. Non-regulated risk assessments do not and the proposed regulations imply that the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources does not have to provide a rationale for choosing a non-regulated pathway rather than a full biosecurity risk assessment. 

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