‘Blocked access’ to Laverton quarantine bin sparks concern

Headshot of Cally Dupe
Cally DupeCountryman
The inspection/quarantine checkpoint in Laverton.
Camera IconThe inspection/quarantine checkpoint in Laverton. Credit: Twitter/twocrowsdown

The State Government has denied access to a quarantine bin near Laverton was ever blocked by roadworks after concerns were raised the State’s $10 billion agriculture industry was being put at risk.

A picture posted on Twitter by a truck driver passing through on April 22 sparked concern when it appeared to show the unmanned biosecurity checkpoint inaccessible because of the roadworks.

Mike Jacobson was carting fuel when he claims he saw the checkpoint on Great Central Highway, about 20km east of Laverton, being used as a lay down area for materials and barricaded by witches hats.

“There were roadworks happening in the area...and they are using it as a location for putting materials,” he said. “They are using it as a storage area, they decided for safety’s sake to exclude the public from getting in there.

“There was no way to drive into the bins and the concrete culverts were blocking them off.

“There are a lot of travellers coming through because of the cooler weather, I have seen a lot of number plates coming through.

“I thought, it is a minor check point and it is an honour system, but to have it blocked off is a bit too far.”

There was no way to drive into the bins and the concrete culverts were blocking them off

Mike Jacobson

Pastoralist and Graziers Association of WA grains biosecurity spokesman Rob Beard said there were a number of pests and diseases farmers did not want to cross the border.

“With the situations of the past few years and more people travelling around Australia, then the risk is even greater,” he said.

A Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development spokesperson said while the surrounding area was being used as a layover area, travellers still had access to the quarantine bin, which was clearly marked.

“The road crew provide direction to the bin to ensure occupational health and safety measures are adhered to on the worksite,” the spokesperson said.

“Quarantine efforts to safeguard the State from biosecurity risks remains a priority for the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.

“Interstate travellers at all checkpoints and border crossings are reminded they are legally required to dispose of at risk quarantine material.”

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