WAFarmers Beekeeping Section was thrilled to learn last week that the former Western Australian import restrictions on honey and bee products have been reinstated, and can now be viewed on the Commonwealth BICON (Australian Biosecurity Import Conditions).
BICON is an important resource for the agricultural industry, as it houses Australia’s biosecurity import conditions database for more than 20,000 plants, animals, minerals and biological products. Further, it helps viewers determine what import conditions exist and if an import permit is required.
WAFarmers, alongside industry, has pushed for the Federal Government to include WA restrictions on BICON.
For the WA’s apiary industry, it means that imports of honey into Western Australian will continue to be heat-treated, unlike in other Australian states and territories, which protects our state against biosecurity threats.
Further, Western Australian import restrictions that are specified on BICON can now be enforced by national (AQIS) inspectors.
Moving forward, WAFarmers Beekeeping Section and industry will work together to drive the establishment of formal notification systems between state and Federal levels.
There are currently no formal systems of communication in place between these levels, meaning that AQIS inspectors do not need to notify WAQIS inspectors when a shipment has been received of honey or bee products. To the WAFarmers Beekeeping Section, this appears to be an unnecessary risk to the state’s biosecurity, and one that will continue to be on WAFarmers’ radar.
WAFarmers congratulates the beekeeping industry for their contribution, and thanks everyone for their hard work in achieving this excellent outcome so quickly.