Santa staying on biosecurity nice list

Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie
Minister for Agriculture

It has been confirmed that Santa is filling in his incoming passenger card with only a few more hours to go before he touches down in Australia.

Minister for Agriculture Bridget McKenzie said it was important that everyone followed the rules when it comes to biosecurity, and Santa was no exception.

“Santa is filling in his incoming passenger card and declaring any materials that could put our $60 billion agricultural sector at risk for inspection by our experienced biosecurity officers,” Minister McKenzie said.

“He’s made a list, and there’s no pork products-which could devastate our national pork industry and the livelihoods of 36,000 people who depend on it as African swine fever edges closer to our shores.

“We’re checking it twice: airport screening (Santa qualifies) has been enhanced this year with a world’s-first 3D x-ray trial that automatically detects biosecurity risks in fruit and vegetables that gift-givers have failed to declare.

“It adds new capability to the existing x-ray and screening regimes applied across our airports and the other traditional route for Christmas presents-our mail centres.

“Aussie kids can be confident that their presents this year will be welcomed, not just by their family but by our farmers.

“Santa’s sleigh is also being inspected to ensure that it doesn’t have any stow away brown marmorated stink bugs that could decimate horticulture industry.

“With elf-class preparation there’s no risk to our farms and no chance of a turn-back.

“With Santa unable to bring his own snacks into the country it’s important that every house leave out some safe, nutritious and delicious Australian food for him to snack on in between visits.

“A cold glass of fresh Aussie milk and a plate of fruit is sure to delight Santa on his trip. Likewise, crunchy Australian carrots are a favourite among reindeers.

“I would like to wish Santa a safe flight, and everyone a very merry Christmas and happy new year.”

/Public Release. View in full here.