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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 28 October 2010) . . Page.. 5369 ..

(7) How many nurseries have been found to have been in breach of the Pest Plants and Animals Act 2005 by selling prohibited species at their nurseries since the Act has been in operation.

(8) What notifications of breach and/or penalties have ensued and can the Minister provide the dates and names of nurseries where a notification of a breach has been issued or a penalty has been applied.

(9) Were any nurseries charged with offences under the Pest Plants and Animals Act 2005 when it was discovered in April 2010 that Mexican Feather Grass had been sold at ACT nurseries.

(10) How does the Government prevent the importation of weeds from interstate.

Mr Corbell: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) The declaration was last reviewed by the Manager of Biosecurity, Land Management and Planning Section of Territory and Municipal Services (TAMS) in January 2010.

(2) When new environmental weeds are either identified within the ACT or have the potential to impact the ACT, the plant is added to the Schedule 1 pest plant list. Once that process is completed, officers from TAMS contact all ACT and local district nurseries informing them of the change and providing them with a copy of the updated schedule.

(3) Whenever the Schedule 1 pest plant list is updated. The most recent update occurred in January 2010.

(4) Nurseries are provided with an up-to-date list of pest plants when new environmental weeds are added to the Schedule 1 pest plant list. Spot checks are also conducted annually, or as required, eg, in response to allegations that nurseries may be selling prohibited plants.

(5) Yes, annually or on an ad-hoc bases (for example, in response to confidential reports of alleged sales of prohibited plants).

(6) Yes. Rodney’s Nursery, Bunnings Tuggeranong, Bunnings Belconnen, Big W Gungahlin and Gold Creek Green and Gold were spot checked during 2009. Plant and seed sales on eBay were also checked during the year following alleged sales of pest plants. Spot checks for 2010 are scheduled for Spring.

(7) When the Act was implemented, the focus of TAMS staff was to inform and educate nursery proprietors about the new legislative provisions. All nurseries in the district were visited and inspected soon after the legislation was enacted and most of the breaches were detected during these inspections. Once they were made aware of the pest status of the plants (mainly broom and willow species), the proprietors immediately and voluntarily removed them from sale.

(8) No penalties were imposed as the breaches were primarily due to mislabelling or ignorance of the pest plant status during the period immediately after the new legislation came into effect.

(9) No. The plants had been mislabelled by the wholesalers and were immediately removed from sale.

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