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Border control down to fly spray and good luck

Shane Ardern
National Customs and Biosecurity Spokesperson

11 December 2002

Border control down to fly spray and good luck

The Customs Minister should talk to the Biosecurity Minister before making claims about effective container checks and anti-terrorism customs controls, says National's spokesperson on Biosecurity and Customs, Shane Ardern.

"The latest discovery of a nest of poisonous redback spiders and eggs on a bus imported from Australia is alarming. But what's more worrying is that it wasn't our border controls that found the nest, but staff at Bayes Coachlines.

"The bus was to have been used as a school bus next year.

"Our treatment of containers from suspect areas is disgraceful. We've heard reports of wharfies being told to 'use fly spray' to kill insects found in containers and of containers being checked at home, after half the contents had already been unpacked.

"With millions of dollars being spent on the eradication of the Painted Apple Moth, you would think our customs and biosecurity borders would be much more effective. But it isn't the case.

"The lack of communication and common goals between Departments was one of the main criticisms highlighted in a recent Biosecurity audit. It's obvious from the Customs Minister's comments in Parliament today that the message hasn't got through," says Mr Ardern.

Ends

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