Friday 16th Nov, 2018

‘Quick save’ and the bad seeds

Image: Shutterstock
Image: Shutterstock

A TIP-off from a switched-on passenger at an overseas airport lounge has led to several risky seeds being intercepted at Melbourne Airport.


Biosecurity deputy secretary Lyn O’Connell, said the passenger reported their concerns, after overhearing another passenger discussing plans.

“This is a great example of one member of the public doing their part to help keep a significant biosecurity risk out of Australia,” Ms O’Connell said.

“They overhead another passenger—who was FaceTiming a relative—say they were bringing a variety of seeds to Australia and the relative has told them to try and not get caught.

“This information and a description of the passenger was reported to the department and our biosecurity officers were then able to identify them when they arrived at Melbourne Airport.”

After inspecting their baggage, officers found 120 grams of undeclared seeds, which are a risk because they can carry pests or diseases.

The seeds were found in an envelope that was wrapped in a cloth. They included seeds of tomatoes, cantaloupe, watermelons and lemon cucumbers.

“We have strong measures in place at our international airports to manage these risks, but everyone has a responsibility to report suspected biosecurity threats,” Ms O’Connell said.

“This will ensure we can all work together to help safeguard Australia’s industries, environment, and plant, animal and human health from significant biosecurity risks.”

Potential biosecurity concerns can be reported to the Department at

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