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The Australian National Biosecurity Award 2010 and the Inaugural Biosecurity Lifetime Achievement Award Presented at Parliament House

Canberra, ACT (News4us.com) November 22, 2010

Australian National Biosecurity Award 2 The Australian National Biosecurity Award 2010 and the Inaugural Biosecurity Lifetime Achievement Award Presented at Parliament House

The Australian National Biosecurity Award 2010 and the Inaugural Biosecurity Lifetime Achievement Award Presented at Parliament House

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, today presented the Australian National Biosecurity Award 2010 and the inaugural Biosecurity Lifetime Achievement Award at Parliament House.

“A strong biosecurity system is essential to protecting regional jobs, agricultural productivity and the environment,” Minister Ludwig said.

“I congratulate Maersk Australia, Inchcape Shipping and Mr Hart Krtschil for their achievements in protecting Australia from exotic pests and disease.”

Minister Ludwig presented the national award to representatives from Maersk Australia and Inchcape Shipping in recognition of their swift action in preventing the entry of one of the world’s most destructive timber pests into the country.

Earlier this year, the Mersk Shipping vessel Tatiana Schulte was waiting to be unloaded when the Inchcape captain and crew discovered an infestation of unfamiliar black beetles. The captain reported the detection immediately to AQIS, and the beetles were confirmed as burnt pine longicorn beetles.

At a significant cost and commercial impost, the company returned the vessel to Auckland for the pests to be removed.

Minister Ludwig also presented the Biosecurity Lifetime Achievement to Mr Hart Krtschil for his dedication and commitment to biosecurity in Australia during the past two decades.

Drawing on his career in the cargo and transport industry, Mr Krtschil has served on numerous industry committees and boards, including 10 years as a member of the Quarantine Export Advisory Council.

His significant input into a range of government reviews into biosecurity, transport, shipping, and container logistics has greatly improved the way we do business. Mr Krtschil is a stand-out example of how shared responsibility and working in partnership can contribute to the protection of our favourable biosecurity status.

Background

The Australian Biosecurity Awards recognise outstanding achievements in safeguarding Australia’s biosecurity integrity. The award program is based on three levels: Certificates of Commendation; Regional Biosecurity Awards and the Australian National Biosecurity Award. The inaugural Biosecurity Lifetime Achievement Award recognises an exceptional contribution to Australia’s biosecurity efforts during a substantial period of time.

Maersk Australia and Inchcape Shipping
In February 2010, AQIS shipping in Sydney was notified by an Inchcape Shipping agent of live unfamiliar insects on the container vessel Tatiana Schulte off Port Botany. The vessel master provided verbal confirmation to AQIS of a large number of live black beetles on the deck and container areas of the vessel.

He also promptly provided AQIS with photos of the beetles which were then confirmed as burnt pine longicorn beetles. The vessel master accepted AQIS’ direction and returned to New Zealand for remedial action and insect removal. Maersk Australia and Inchcape Shipping and the vessel master continued to work cooperatively with AQIS, eventually discharging their cargo 10 days after they were originally due in port.

The burnt pine longicorn beetle is an exotic timber pest that poses a serious threat to Australia’s timber industries and native forests. Pine plantations cover more than 1.7 million hectares of land in Australia, and for our economy, this industry is worth more than six billion dollars a year.

Mr Hart Krtschil
Mr Hart Krtschil’s commitment and dedication to biosecurity reform spans more than 20 years. He first became involved with AQIS operations in the early-1990s, drawing on his broad experience with the shipping and cargo logistics industries. He has chaired the AQIS Industry Consultative Committee since its inception in 1993. For 10 years he was a member of the Quarantine Export Advisory Council providing advice to former ministers for agriculture on major quarantine and export certification strategy and policy issues.

Mr Krtschil has also participated in a wide range of government reviews into transport, shipping, container logistics and related issues. He contributed to the major reviews of quarantine, the first in 1996 led by Professor Mal Nairn and more recently the review led by Mr Roger Beale AO in 2008. His contributions to these reviews have supported business and biosecurity reform.


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