Fines for dirty containers call to preserve farm biosecurity

Bellata flour miller wants fines for dirty export containers


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Bellata Gold Milling owner Doug Cush says the arrival of dirty sea containers in the country is a threat to farm biosecurity and penalties should apply.

Bellata Gold Milling owner Doug Cush says the arrival of dirty sea containers in the country is a threat to farm biosecurity and penalties should apply.

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Dirty sea containers 'pose risk to Australian farmers'

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Farmers have called for a $10,000 fine for companies that deliver contaminated sea containers to the country, an occurrence that they say poses a threat to farm biosecurity.

Farmer and owner of Bellata Gold Milling Doug Cush on behalf of the Narrabri branch of NSW Farmers said that dirty sea containers was a threat to his business.

He often had to send dirty containers back to Sydney that was costing his company $15,000 a year. He sometimes found up to 20kg of random material inside containers when they arrived at Bellata.

This put the security of his high-end export product under threat.

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He said if container owners were fined $10,000 for not cleaning potentially contaminated containers it could stop a major biosecurity threat to Australian agriculture, where already two exotic insects were detected each month by biosecurity officers.

"If we issue a $10,000 fine for contaminated containers it should rectify the situation pretty quickly and take away a major problem for agriculture," Mr Cush said.

The motion to make sure all "shipping containers be cleaned post-use at the point where they are unloaded (devanned) and that a violation be followed by a severe penalty", was passed by the NSW Farmers conference.

Mr Cush said the issue was one that affected every graingrower. "The government says it is interested in maintaining biosecurity but when it comes to the money end it is not always interested in doing anything about it," he said.

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