21 Oct 2009

Horticulture industry concerned about baggage screening changes

12:51 pm on 21 October 2009

Horticulture New Zealand is very concerned about potential changes to screening inbound passengers from Australia. It says they will not provide enough biosecurity protection for New Zealand.

The Government is looking at ways to reduce the amount of time trans-Tasman travellers have to spend at airports as part of making travel between the countries faster and easier.

It includes a trial scheme for x-rays of baggage to be checked while a flight is in transit, and a more targeted profiling approach to the biosecurity risks posed by international travellers.

Horticulture NZ says a report to the Primary Production Select Committee on the Biosecurity Amendment Bill, shows the committee has no faith in the proposed profiling technique.

Chief executive Peter Silcock says it would be better to continue x-raying all baggage instead of continuing with a technique that is not guaranteed.

He says technical issues also need to be sorted out before such information sharing can take place between the two countries.