THE Innovations with 3D X-Ray Technology project has been recognised with the 2020 Public Sector Innovation Award in the ‘digital and data’ category.

Agriculture minister David Littleproud, said the technology was a “game changer for managing biosecurity risks and processing goods and people at the border”.

“In a world-first for biosecurity, this 3D x-ray technology allows us to automatically detect biosecurity risk material that arrives at our airports and mail centres,” Mr Littleproud said.

“3D x-ray units are now installed in Melbourne International Airport and Melbourne International Mail Centre. We will also be installing a unit at Sydney International Mail Centre.

“They have proven to be much more effective than current detection technologies, significantly increasing the detection rate at the airport and mail centre.”


The units can automatically detect meat, seafood and fruit, which means they can help safeguard us from some of our most deadly biosecurity threats, including African Swine Fever.

The algorithms use information, such as density and shape, to alert officers to potential biosecurity risks in baggage or mail items and enable the detection of two to three times more risk material than current screening technology.

“Increased image quality from the 3D x-ray also enables our biosecurity officers to be more confident in decision making,” Mr Littleproud said.

“They are significantly reducing the burden for officers and allow for more risk material to be easily detected.”

The successful 3D x-ray algorithm trial was funded through the $7.5m Modern Seamless Border Clearance measure and the $25.2m Biosecurity Innovation Program announced in the 2018 Budget.