Please write a letter to the minister challanging these seed laws

Every letter to the minister must be answered legally so this is a great way to make sure the politicians know we care and want answers. Send emails to:

Minister of Ag – Minister.Baston@dpc.wa.gov.au

Shadow Minister of Ag – ken.travers@mp.wa.gov.au

Dear Ministers,

I have heard WA quarantine is going to charge a $56 inspection fee per order of seeds from interstate. The media statement of Greg Pickles said it was bringing small orders in line with commercial orders. You can not equate the two seed orders, commercial orders are large, low diversity, personal orders small, high diversity. Commercial orders of $1000 would receive the same inspection fee/time as $3 orders?

To bring some clarity and justification to these newly imposed fees could you please answer the following questions. Thanks for your time.

  1. Could I please be sent your financial analysis of implementing this fee, including inspection and fee/bill charging to all individual and smaller orders, and chasing up fees and fines from those who fail to pay fees. NZ tried this recoup method, it was removed due to overuse of quarantine resources and increasing cost.
  2. Please provide proof which organic and heirloom seed companies, farmers, market gardeners, food growers, organic peak bodies, seed peak bodies and community based food growing groups were consulted initially in the community engagement of BAM act 2007 ?
  3. More recently which organic and heirloom seed companies and seed peak bodies were notified prior to 24th June 2013 of the intended W02 $56 for 15 minute fees that would apply as of 1st July ?
  4. What risk assessments have been carried out; to justify the seed and plant mater inspections are still needed, and to evaluate the risk of creating a black market for seeds and undeclared seed sending to avoid these fees?
  5. Given the argument this is for Biosecurity of the state, specifically what invasive species and diseases have been found by visually inspecting seeds, and checking botanical name and how many were found each year ?
  6. How is the Dept of Ag and Food going to prove Chain of Custody of all seeds ? How can private orders and letters (sent containing seed) be billed/fined when the seed has or could be claimed to be being sent to the recipient without their knowledge ?
  7. Where is your Charter of Service for this inspection process. Given we are now paying fees, how is Quality assurance of the service managed, documented and reported?
  8. As this fee has already become a barrier to trade (Greenharvest ceasing orders to WA) between the states is it not unConstitutional ? See Constitution Sect 92 – Trade within Commonwealth to be Free.


In this rapidly changing state seed and food plant diversity should be a critical part of Biosecurity not one being impeded.

Thankyou,

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