Biosecurity officers and detector dogs at a Sydney Mail Centre have intercepted two international packages with plants that are known hosts of Xylella fastidiosa, Australia’s number one priority plant pest.

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud said Xylella was one of the most significant plant disease threats worldwide.

“We are very fortunate that Xylella is not present in Australia, and we want to keep it that way,” Minister Littleproud said.

One of the packages contained live asparagales shrub plants with heavy fungal growth and bacterial contamination, the other contained fig cuttings.

“Both of these plant species are known hosts of Xylella, which shows that this devastating plant disease does pose a real and significant risk for Australia. The plants also had the potential to carry other pests of biosecurity concern,” Minister Littleproud said.

The importation of live plants requires an import permit, which details import conditions that help to manage any potential biosecurity risks.

As these plants did not have an import permit, they were destroyed as biosecurity waste.

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