Keeping the bugs out of Bundaberg
CUSTOMS and Border Protection and DAFF biosecurity officers kept Bundaberg safe this month, screening more than 75 yachts arriving as part of the Port 2 Port Rally.
Officers from the two agencies worked closely to perform Customs and Immigration checks, and to stop any illegal drugs, weapons and biological threats from entering Australia.
First Assistant Secretary of DAFF’s Border Compliance Division Tim Chapman said yachts and other vessels could sometimes take on pests, particularly termites and other timber boring pest insects.
“DAFF Biosecurity protects Australia’s plant, animal and human health by reducing the risk of unwanted pests and diseases arriving in the country,” Mr Chapman said.
“Our officers inspected and assessed the hulls, keels and cabins of visiting and imported yachts namely for timber pests.
“Despite a few instances of ants found on board, the yachts were given the all clear. Vessel owners were cooperative and were aware of Australia’s requirements before sailing into Australia.”
Customs and Border Protection’s Acting National Manager Enforcement Operations Neil Sugget said the agency was pleased with the high level of compliance from Rally participants.
“Although a number of items, including firearms, were withheld, these were all declared and returned to their owners following Customs checks,” Mr Sugget said.
Customs and Border Protection has conducted first port checks for the Port 2 Port Rally for five years now, facilitating the arrival of 163 small craft and making 98 seizures of prohibited goods.
Mr Chapman and Mr Sugget praised all of the officers involved for their hard work in protecting the Bundaberg community and thanked the event organisers for their cooperation.