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A CONSIGNMENT of imported bulk wheat from Canada has arrived in Australia, with the Department of Agriculture reassuring local producers it will be subject to strict conditions.

The arrival of the bulk shipment follows the issuing of an import permit on 14 May.

The port at which the cargo is to be unloaded could not be confirmed, with the Department saying the matter was “commercial in confidence”.

According to the Department, the last time imports of whole grain were approved was in 2007.

“The Department has previously approved imports of whole grain from several countries, including Canada,” a spokesperson said.

According to the Department, an extensive assessment of the potential biosecurity risks took place and the importer was required to meet “strict biosecurity requirements” for bulk grain.

The shipment is to be securely transported from the point of discharge through to the point of processing before being stored and processed at facility approved by the department.

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“The department is satisfied that the conditions imposed through the import permit effectively manage any potential biosecurity risks,” the department stated.

Industry body GrainGrowers said it did not oppose the importation of grains or processed grain products so long as biosecurity was not compromised.

It noted, however that, whole and processed grains imports posed a high biosecurity risk.

“It is the responsibility of the Department to ensure that any grain imports do not compromise Australia’s biosecurity,” GrainGrowers stated.

“GrainGrowers, along with other industry groups have been in regular contact with the Department and have reinforced the position that biosecurity requirements around grain imports must be robust.”

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