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Australian Quarantine

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Australian QuarantineAustra

    Australian Quarantine Review Secretariat

    Australian Quarantine

    a shared responsibility

    M.E. Nairn, P.G. Allen, A.R. Inglis and C. Tanner

    Department of Primary Industries and Energy

    Canberra 1996

? Commonwealth of Australia 1996

    ISBN 0 642 25971 2

This work is copyright. Apart from any use under the Copyright Act 1968, no part

    may be reproduced by any process without prior written permission from the Australian Government Publishing Service.

    Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed to the Manager, Commonwealth Information Services, Australian Government Publishing Services, GPO Box 84, Canberra, ACT, 2601.

Preferred way to cite this publication:

    Nairn, M.E., Allen, P.G., Inglis, A.R. and Tanner, C. (1996) Australian Quarantine: a shared responsibility. Department of Primary Industries and Energy, Canberra.

    Produced by the Australian Quarantine Review Committee Secretariat

Australian Quarantine: a shared responsibility

    CONTENTS

    FORWORD 3 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 5 RECOMMENDATIONS 7 ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS 18 GLOSSARY 19 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 20 PART 1: INTRODUCTION

    1. THE REVIEW 20 1.1 ORIGIN OF THE REVIEW 20 1.2 TERMS OF REFERENCE 21 1.3 MEMBERSHIP OF THE REVIEW COMMITTEE 22 1.4 CONDUCT OF THE REVIEW 23 1.5 STRUCTURE OF THE REPORT 25 1.6 HISTORY of the ADMINISTRATION OF QUARANTINE 25 1.7 PREVIOUS Reviews of Quarantine 25 PART 2: A SHARED RESPONSIBILITY 2. A FRESH APPROACH 27 2.1 AUSTRALIAN QUARANTINE 27 2.2 SCOPE OF QUARANTINE 28 2.3 ACHIEVING THE QUARANTINE GOAL 32 2.4 A NATIONAL PARTNERSHIP 34 3. AWARENESS AND CONSULTATION 35 3.1 QUARANTINE CULTURE 35 3.2 COMMUNITY AWARENESS 36 3.3 CONSULTATION 42 PART 3: A NEW ORGANISATION

4. QUARANTINE AUSTRALIA

    4.1 INTRODUCTION 48 4.2 PRINCIPLES 48 4.3 ORGANISATIONAL OPTIONS 49 4.4 FUNCTIONS AND OPERATIONS OF QUARANTINE AUSTRALIA 58 4.5 TASK FORCE FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF QUARANTINE AUSTRALIA 68 PART 5: PRE-BORDER QUARANTINE 5. INTERNATIONAL OBLIGATIONS AND LEADERSHIP 69

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Australian Quarantine: a shared responsibility

    5.1 INTRODUCTION 69 5.2 WORLD TRADE 69 5.3 PUBLIC HEALTH 73 5.4 natural environment 73 5.5 NATIONAL IMPACT 74 5.6 INTERNATIONAL LEADERSHIP 76 6. OFFSHORE ACTIVITIES 79 6.1 PRINCIPLES 79 6.2 INTERNATIONAL PROJECTS 82 6.3 COOPERATION WITH OVERSEAS AUTHORITIES 89 6.4 PRECLEARANCE 90 6.5 OFFSHORE QUARANTINE AWARENESS 91 7. RISK ANALYSIS 92 7.1 INTRODUCTION 92 7.2 STAKEHOLDER CONCERNS 95 7.3 PRINCIPLES OF RISK ANALYSIS 97 7.4 IMPORT RISK ANALYSIS 99 7.5 METHODS FOR RISK ASSESSMENT 114 7.6 FACTORS INCLUDED IN IMPORT RISK ANALYSIS 117 7.7 OTHER APPLICATIONS OF RISK ANALYSIS 121 7.8 KEY CENTRE FOR QUARANTINE RISK ANALYSIS 121 PART 5: BORDER QUARANTINE

    8. BORDER ACTIVITIES 122 8.1 INTRODUCTION 122 8.2 PRINCIPLES OF BORDER QUARANTINE 122 8.3 Elements OF BORDER QUARANTINE 124 8.4 IMPORT PROTOCOLS 131 8.5 NEW TECHNOLOGIES 139 8.6 HEALTH CLEARANCE (PRATIQUE) 144 8.7 AIRCRAFT DISINSECTION 145 8.8 VECTOR MONITORING 146 8.9 QUARANTINE CLEARANCE AT AIRPORTS AND SEAPORTS 147 8.10 QUARANTINE CLEARANCE OF CARGO 152 8.11 INTERNATIONAL MAIL 158 8.12 WASTE DISPOSAL 159 8.13 QUARANTINE STATIONS 160 8.14 COMPLIANCE AND AUDIT 165 PART 6: POST-BORDER QUARANTINE 9. MONITORING AND SURVEILLANCE 166 9.1 INTRODUCTION 166 9.2 PRINCIPLES 166 9.3 IMPORTANCE OF MONITORING AND SURVEILLANCE 168 9.4 THE CHALLENGES 169 9.5 DELIVERY 170

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Australian Quarantine: a shared responsibility

    9.6 IMBALANCE BETWEEN PLANTS AND ANIMALS 176 9.7 RESPONSIBILITIES FOR NATIONAL COORDINATION 181 10. PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE 182 10.1 INTRODUCTION 182 10.2 PRINCIPLES 184 10.3 NATIONAL COORDINATION 184 10.4 EARLY DETECTION 186 10.5 CONTINGENCY PLANS 191 10.6 INCURSION RESPONSE 196 PART 7: IMPLEMENTATION

    11. RESOURCES AND LEGISLATION 210 11.1 RESOURCES 210

    11.2 LEGISLATION

    APPENDIXES

    A - SUBMISSIONS RECEIVED 214

    B - RECENT INCURSIONS OF QUARANTINE CONCERN 219 C - INTERNATIONAL OBLIGATIONS RELEVANT TO QUARANTINE 240

    D - INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS IN QUARANTINE RISK ANALYSIS 248

    E - BORDER PROGRAMS 261

REFERENCES 271

FURTHER READING 277

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Australian Quarantine: a shared responsibility

FORWORD

    Quarantine touches every member of the Australian community either directly or indirectly. This explains why this Review attracted so much interest and attention from such a wide cross-section of the population. We were greatly encouraged by the large number of written submissions we received and the extent of participation at the public hearings we conducted throughout the country. Our deliberations were assisted by the many constructive suggestions put forward on how Australian quarantine could be improved.

    Undertaking a comprehensive review of quarantine issues facing Australia was always going to be a difficult task to complete in the allotted time of 10 months. Nevertheless, the Review was completed on time and within budget, thanks to the commitment of the review team members and the energy, competence and discipline of our support team led by Chief Executive Officer, Mr Peter Buckland. It was of considerable comfort to us that, although the Review was commissioned by Senator the Hon. Bob Collins late last year, support was immediately forthcoming from the Hon. John Anderson MP within days of the change in Federal Government in March of this year.

    We decided quite early in the review process that our best chance of achieving a successful outcome and at the same time meeting our reporting date of October 1996 was to develop an understanding of what the Australian community expected from a quarantine service and then establish broad principles on how these expectations could best be met. We had extensive contact with officers in the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service and were impressed with their professionalism and commitment, especially given the sometimes unfair criticism their organisation received following media reports of an unwelcome entry of a pest or disease of animals or plants. During the course of the Review, we came to the conclusion that some fundamental changes were required not only in the structure of the organisation delivering quarantine services but also in general community attitudes to quarantine. We hope that people with an interest in quarantine can find the time to read the whole Report, as it is an absorbing story with many interrelated themes. The Review Committee members unanimously support all of the recommendations and we take full responsibility for the views expressed.

    We believe that the acceptance and implementation of the recommendations will lead to a more efficient and effective quarantine service as well as set the stage for members of industry, the general public and governments to participate in a partnership that will enhance our capacity to keep Australia relatively free of those pests and disease that threaten our people, our animal and plant industries, and our unique natural environment. Professor Malcolm E. Nairn

    Chairman, Australian Quarantine Review Committee

    October 1996

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Australian Quarantine: a shared responsibility

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    The Australian Quarantine Review received 167 written submissions from a wide cross-section of the Australian and international community - governments, industry and the general public. Eighty-five individuals and organisations that made submissions also elected to attend one of the public hearings conducted throughout the country. In addition, the Review Committee met with a large number of government, industry and community organisations, visited quarantine facilities, held discussions with representatives of the policy and operations areas within the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS), and had direct contact with quarantine organisations in five other countries. The Review commenced in January 1996 and the Review Committee undertook to report to the Minister for Primary Industries and Energy by October. The terms of reference were very broad and included all aspects of quarantine policies and procedures. The Report includes 109 recommendations.

    People who read the full Report will discover several fundamental themes that characterise the approach the Review Committee took in framing its recommendations. For example, the Review Committee was convinced that to achieve the objectives of quarantine in Australia in the context of pressures from world trade, tourism and international obligations, it will be necessary to engage industry, government and the general public in a partnership approach to quarantine. This can most effectively be accomplished by a structural change of AQIS to locate the quarantine service and policy functions in a separate statutory authority to be known as Quarantine Australia. This will enable the Australian community to have a greater influence on quarantine policies and to develop a sense of ownership. It will also allow important issues such as the effect of quarantine decisions on the natural environment to receive due attention. The partnership concept will need to be developed with an effective and targeted public awareness campaign on the value of quarantine to Australia.

    A significant number of submissions to the Review emphasised the fundamental importance to the community of maintaining Australia's unique natural environment. The Review Committee believes that effective quarantine policy and programs are essential to achieving this objective. Quarantine decisions must take greater account of environmental considerations and this responsibility should be reflected in quarantine legislation. Another matter that became increasingly obvious during the course of the Review was the imbalance between the animal and plant sectors with respect to quarantine. Although there are many valid reasons to explain why plant industries have received relatively less attention than the animal industries in the past, it is time this problem was addressed in a positive way. Examination of incursions into Australia over the past 25 years reveals that the rate of incursions of plant pests and diseases was about 10 times more than for animals. The recommendations on the establishment of an Australian Plant Health Council and a Chief Plant Protection Officer position within the Department of Primary Industries and Energy will assist in achieving a higher status for the plant industries. A great deal of concern was expressed to the Review Committee on the way risk analysis is conducted on applications to import animals, plants or their products into Australia. There is a lack of confidence in the process used for such analysis, and the

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Australian Quarantine: a shared responsibility

    recommendations contained in Chapter 7 are designed to rectify the problems that were brought to the Review Committee's attention. Industry and the general public need a greater opportunity for having their views considered and the process should be conducted in a way that is transparent, scientifically based and with a mechanism for appeal on process. All this needs to be done in the context of Australia's international obligations.

    In the past, quarantine has tended to focus on a border or 'barrier' approach. The Review Committee sees quarantine as much broader than this. The Report has specific sections dealing with pre-border, border and post-border activities, which the Review Committee sees as the continuum of quarantine. This approach emphasises the importance of keeping unwanted diseases and pests offshore as well as placing more attention on the value of both monitoring and surveillance within Australia and on national preparedness for and response to incursions.

    Throughout the course of the Review, the Review Committee was aware that as a result of considerable media attention on some recent incursions, some staff within AQIS have felt under siege. Much of the criticism about the effectiveness of AQIS can not be supported by facts. The Review Committee commissioned four studies on plant and animal incursions over the past 25 years and these did not suggest any significant change in the rate of incursions in recent years, except perhaps for weeds. The fact is that Australia has remained relatively free of many of the major pests and diseases of animals and plants, despite its participation in the massive increase in international trade and movement of people, and dwindling government financial support for the quarantine service.

    It is time for a new focus on quarantine to ensure that the vigilance that has characterised Australia's approach to quarantine protection is not diminished. This Report provides the blueprint for a fresh approach to Australian quarantine based on a shared responsibility.

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