Nursery and Garden Industry was represented recently at the Post-Entry Plant Industry Consultative Committee (PEPICC) meeting held in Sydney on 20 March.
PEPICC is a national advisory forum between plant importing industries and Quarantine (Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries DAFF). First established in 1997 PEPICC has the aim of ensuring communication between industry and government on issues surrounding the import of plant material. It also provides an avenue for industry to voice concerns and provide advice to DAFF on issues of plant imports.
Membership of the committee includes NGIA as well as a wide range of representatives from across plant industries and individual businesses.
Key messages from the meeting were;
Potato propagative material – DAFF are currently finalising the import policy of Potato propagative material for release in the coming few months.
Grapevine propagative material – A draft policy was released in January for consultation. Proposed changes included replacing woody index testing with molecular testing, increasing hot water treatment duration, increasing quarantine period for seed and establishing an approved source framework.
Phytophthora ramorum (Sudden Oak Death [SOD]) hosts – DAFF relaxed the import of some SOD hosts that are not easily tissue cultured. This is restricted to cuttings and budwood only, not rooted material, and it must be budded on local rootstock and grown in Government Post Entry Quarantine facility for at least 2 years and must be visually inspected and PCR tested before release. As P. ramorum has been detected in India, it will now be included on the SOD country list. A full review of all host genera for all types of propagative material is currently being undertaken by DAFF.
Draft Policy review of Lilium cut flowers ex Taiwan – Draft policy released in Nov 2012. The final policy is currently being prepared by DAFF.
Review of Petunia nursery stock import condition – Investigation of the potential for petunias to host Phytophthora infestans, Tomato chlorotic dwarf viroid, Tomato ringspot virus and Potato spindle tuber viroid. This review is underway by DAFF.
Rubber Tree (Hevea brasiliensis) – DAFF is investigating the potential for importing rubber tree seed and nursery stock into Australia.
Draft or final policy changes can be located on the DAFF website here.
Also discussed at this meeting was the PEPICC prioritisation process. This new process will be a ranking system which will allow industry a say in how Quarantine prioritises work in reviewing submissions for import of new plant materials requested by industry. Previously industry had no input into advising DAFF on lines that should be prioritised for consideration.