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New awards applaud quarantine awareness.



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HON WARREN TRUSS MP MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FORESTRY

AFFA02/24WT 20 February 2002

New awards applaud quarantine awareness

A new national quarantine awards system to recognise the role played by individuals and organisations in defending Australia from exotic pest and disease threats was announced Federal Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Minister Warren Truss.

“Nominations for the 2002 Quarantine Awards are now open. The Awards are a ‘thank-you’ from the Federal Coalition Government to people who have made a special contribution to the quarantine protection of our agricultural industries and unique environment,” Mr Truss said.

“The Coalition’s commitment of an extra $600 million in the last Budget to strengthen Australia’s quarantine protection is already paying off. The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS), and other border agencies, are now well on the way to achieving 100 per cent quarantine screening at all airports, seaports and international mail centres.

“But quarantine protection can only be fully effective when it is a shared responsibility between the Government and the community. The Quarantine Awards recognise and reward people around the country who have contributed to Australia’s quarantine defence against exotic pests and disease threats,” Mr Truss said.

The Quarantine Awards system has three tiers. Certificates of Commendation are presented in local areas around the nation throughout the year, and all recipients are then eligible to be considered for a Quarantine Regional Award and for the Quarantine National Award presented each year.

To be eligible, the individual, group or company must have demonstrated a significant contribution to Australia's quarantine efforts, for example, by:

reporting an exotic disease outbreak or pest incursion; ● reporting suspicious activities that may be of quarantine concern, such as live animals or food being landed from a foreign vessel in a remote area; ●

making a special effort to protect or maintain animal or plant health; or ● undertaking a special activity that supports quarantine protection. ● “If you know someone who has taken action that you believe supports quarantine protection, I encourage you to nominate them for a Quarantine Award,” Mr Truss said.

For nomination forms, or further information please contact:

(02) 6272 5846 (phone) or (02) 6272 5753 (fax) or by email: pr@aqis.gov.au

Nominations forms are also available at www.aqis.gov.au/awards

Further inquiries: Mr Truss's office, Andrew Hall (02) 6277 7520 or 0419 996 766