Media Release

Your job at our international airports

27 August 2014

Almost 24,000 travellers and their personal effects were screened for biosecurity risk material each day at Australia's international airports in 2013–14 – that’s 8.7 million out of the 17 million passengers entering the country each year.

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said maintaining Australia's enviable biosecurity status was a huge undertaking with large numbers of people and goods coming through our international airports.

"We all have a job to do to safeguard our human health, agricultural production and our environment," Minister Joyce said.

"We can't just leave good biosecurity practices to our officers; we all need to play our part by knowing what can and cannot be brought into Australia and by filling out the incoming passenger card correctly when arriving.

"In July this year, our biosecurity officers at airports across Australia seized and destroyed more than five tonnes of high-risk food items – that means 60 tonnes a year.

"Undeclared food, plant material and animal products from overseas could introduce pests and diseases into Australia, and have a serious impact on our $52 billion agriculture sector as well as our unique environment.

"Many of the biosecurity risks managed at the border potentially have huge financial consequences for Australian agriculture.

"Finding and confiscating risk items continues to demonstrate the excellent work Australia and its visitors are doing to help to protect the health and safety of Australia's plant and animal industries.

"The desire to bring something into Australia does not outweigh the safety of our health and national agricultural industries."

For more information about what can and can’t be sent to Australia through the mail, visit What can't be mailed to Australia?