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Biosecurity Concerns Raised By Select Committee

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Biosecurity Concerns Raised By Select Committee

Horticulture New Zealand is very concerned by comments made yesterday in the Primary Production Committee's report on the Biosecurity Amendment Bill which indicate the committee's lack of faith in the immediate introduction of "profiling" trans-Tasman travellers.

The use of "profiling" is to be introduced by MAF Biosecurity New Zealand for air passengers travelling between Australia and New Zealand instead of x-raying their bags for border protection.

The committee noted in its commentary under the heading 'Further Issues' that "whilst it was beyond the scope of this bill, we extensively discussed the issues of biosecurity risk profiling at airports.

"At this point, we remain unconvinced that sufficient work has been done in this regard.

"We note the Government has indicated a move for complementary measures at Australian airports to provide for screening of passengers and baggage which can be relayed to New Zealand. The committee was advised that there are still outstanding issues before such information sharing can take place between the two countries."

HortNZ chief executive Peter Silcock says it is certainly reassuring to see there are members of the Primary Production Committee who understand how vulnerable New Zealand's border protection is.

"We continue to have grave concerns about the removal of 100% baggage x-ray at the border and we hope the committee's warnings are heeded and there are no moves towards removing this protection until a suitable, reliable replacement system is set up between Australian and New Zealand airports."

Read the full report here.

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