Quarantine matters in Australia are among the strictest in the world. Domestic quarantine concerns the restrictions that are placed on pests, diseases and weeds travelling across and within interstate borders. These pests and diseases can travel with you as you visit different parts of the country, sometimes without you even realising it.
Why are there restrictions?
Australia’s states and territories have restrictions in place to prevent the spread of pests and diseases across the country that may affect the country’s natural environments and wildlife. The laws also help to minimise the risk to the country’s valuable agricultural land that can be damaged by exotic products. Travellers face on the spot fines for taking prohibited items across interstate and quarantine borders.
The quarantine and biosecurity zones across Australia are determined by their risk factor and vulnerability. Some of these zones do not follow the boundaries of the states and territories. For the complete list of biosecurity and quarantine zones in Australia, click here.
What are the restrictions?
There are a number of pests that can affect and damage Australia’s natural environment and crop population. Once present, these diseases, pests and weeds can spread from one part of the country to another through the movement of fruit, vegetables, plants, flowers and soil.
The major pests in Australia at the moment are:
- Tomato Potato Psyllid – found in WA
- Green Snail – found in WA
- Large Earth Bumblebee – found in Tas
- Small Hive Beetle – found in NSW and Qld
- Potato Cyst Nematode- found in Vic
- European House Borer – found in WA
- Myrtle Rust – Found in Qld, NSW, Vic and Tas
- Lupin Anthracnose – found in WA and SA
- Electric Ants – found in parts of Qld
- Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus – found in Qld, NT and WA
- Mediterranean Fruit Fly – found in WA
- Queensland Fruit Fly – found in Qld, NSW, Vic and NT
- Red Imported Fire Ant – found in parts of Qld
- Grape Phylloxera – found in NSW and Vic
What you can do to help
Be aware of the biosecurity and quarantine risks your natural products could have when you’re travelling between borders. If you’re not sure whether your items are safe to travel or not, it’s best to leave them behind, that includes all fruits, vegetables and plants. If you do happen to bring something with you that may pose a threat to a different state or territory, eat it or bin it in quarantine bins provided at airports, ferry terminals and biosecurity borders.
If you notice any unusual pests or disease symptoms around the country, report them to 1800 084 881 to help prevent the spread of a potentially catastrophic pests.
For more information on Australia’s interstate quarantine restrictions, visit www.interstatequarantine.org.au.