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Monday, 16 June 2003
Page: 11558


Senator O'Brien asked the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, upon notice, on 25 March 2003:

With reference to public quarantine alerts PQA0254 and PQA0255:

(1) When did the Sudden Oak Death (Phytophthora ramorum) (SOD) pest risk assessment commence?

(2) When will the pest risk assessment be completed?

(3) When were interim restrictions imposed for sawn timber, round wood and logs imported from the United States of America?

(4) How has the absence of dry and moist heat treatment providers in Sydney impacted on importers of wood from the US?


Senator Ian Macdonald (Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation) —The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) The Pest Risk Assessment for Phytophthora ramorum on wood commodities imported into Australia was initiated in August 2002.

(2) An Interim Pest Risk Assessment for Phytophthora ramorum on wood commodities was completed on 24 October 2002. A full risk assessment will be completed by the end of 2003 as part of a wider Coniferous Timber Import Risk Assessment.

(3) The interim restrictions for sawn timber, round wood and logs imported from the United States of America were introduced on 18 February 2003.

(4) The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) has no record of reports that the lack of heat treatment facilities in Sydney has had any impact on importers of wood from the United States (US). AQIS believes that this is primarily because, when relevant species have been imported, they have been accompanied by the appropriate Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service certification from the US Department of Agriculture.