News and media

See our latest news and announcements. Discover more about what we do.

You can follow our media releases, find us on social media or subscribe for updates.

We are a new department. You can still access media releases and our online channels from before we merged.

View all media releases

Thursday, 5 August 2021

A range of vegetable and fruit viruses have been detected in seeds from overseas, demonstrating the significant biosecurity risks that illegal seed imports can pose.

Australian Chief Plant Protection Officer, Dr Gabrielle Vivian-Smith, said a variety of seeds were imported for testing and research purposes and the majority carried viruses of concern.

“Seeds are the most intercepted biosecurity risk item through the mail,” Dr Vivian-Smith said.

Tagged with: Biosecurity, Detection
Monday, 2 August 2021

Australians celebrating Raksha Bandhan this year are being asked to make sure family and friends are aware of Australia's biosecurity requirements before sending gifts and delicacies.

Head of Biosecurity at the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment Andrew Tongue said Raksha Bandhan gift givers should check Australia’s biosecurity conditions before mailing gifts to Australia.

“Certain gifts and delicacies, such as those made from plant or animal material, can pose a biosecurity risk to Australia and may not be permitted,” Mr Tongue said.

Friday, 30 July 2021

A 37-year-old Victorian man has been handed a jail sentence for the attempted illegal export of Australian native reptiles.

Sui Pan Wong was sentenced last week at Sunshine Magistrates Court to a 6-month jail term and released immediately to be of good behaviour for 2 years.

Tagged with: Enforcement, EPBC Act
Tuesday, 20 July 2021

Sea containers packed in a khapra beetle target risk country and unpacked in a rural grain-growing area will be required to undergo treatment offshore.

Head of Biosecurity at the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Andrew Tongue, said the measures were an important step in keeping Australia free from khapra beetle.

“Global markets rely on international trade, and Australia is no exception,” Mr Tongue said.

“But what we don’t want is contaminants and pests hitching a ride into Australia on sea containers.

Wednesday, 14 July 2021

A mummified pig foetus, live squirrels, deer genitalia and freeze-dried quails—these are just a few of the interesting items intercepted by Australian biosecurity officers over the years.

A/g Head of Biosecurity at the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Dr Chris Parker, said the department went into the archives to find the strangest items intercepted at the border.

“Our work at airports and mail centres helps protect Australia from biosecurity risks that might arrive with passengers or mail parcels,” Dr Parker said.

Thursday, 8 July 2021

The future of weeds in Australia is in good hands with the commencement of a project to design a new framework for managing weeds in Australia.

Natural resource management company Wild Matters has been contracted by the Australian Government to work with stakeholders to co-design a new framework.

Tuesday, 6 July 2021

On World Zoonoses Day, Australia’s Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Mark Schipp has highlighted how the risk of zoonoses, diseases which can be transmitted to humans from animals, can be reduced through practising good animal biosecurity and hygiene control procedures.

The bacterial disease leptospirosis is an example of a zoonotic disease of worldwide importance. The disease has been reported in over 150 mammalian species around the world, including wildlife, rodents, cattle, pigs, horses, dogs,  and people.

Monday, 5 July 2021

Two Canberra men appeared before the ACT Supreme Court on 2 July after falsifying documents to import nutritional food products into Australia.

Both individuals were sentenced, with one individual receiving an 11-month term of imprisonment, wholly suspended for two years on a good behaviour order, in addition to 200 hours of community service.  The other individual was placed on a 15-month good behaviour order and was sentenced to 100 hours of community service.

Wednesday, 30 June 2021

A consignment of machinery that did not meet Australia’s strict biosecurity standards has been refused entry, despite legal proceedings to appeal the decision.

Deputy Secretary, Biosecurity and Compliance, Andrew Tongue said this demonstrated that Australia’s biosecurity laws are strictly enforced.

“Our biosecurity import conditions are in place to protect our environment, our $66 billion agriculture industries and $47 billion agricultural exports,” Mr Tongue said.

Tagged with: Biosecurity
Thursday, 24 June 2021

The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment has published its fifth and final report detailing the outcomes of the Australian Government’s inaugural Threatened Species Strategy.

Australia’s Threatened Species Commissioner Dr Sally Box said the report highlights the significant progress that has been made to support and recover a range of threatened species and habitats.

Tagged with: Threatened species