16 September 2006

Border security breached in WA

The ABC reports that a live cane toad has crossed into WA from the NT, thereby evading the substantial WA border protection illustrated in these pictures which I took last month.

Fortunately the report states that the illegal immigrant was found by a Kunnunurra couple "near the town's caravan park" (a dog whistle that tourists were responsible for its importation?) and was subsequently disposed of by a local vet.

After my experience at the hands of the WA officials, who not only took the fruit and vegetables in my possession (all of which I voluntarily declared) but also confiscated a box in which they had been stored, I'm surprised that anything could have escaped their zealous scrutiny.

Perhaps not everyone passing the checkpoint was
subjected to the same degree of attention as I was. I thought at the time that there may have been a form of profiling in operation, and that because I was driving a vehicle with a non-WA registration I therefore qualified for closer examination. I wouldn't wish a plague or even a trickle of cane toads upon anyone, but unfortunately they're a fact of life in northern Australia. Perhaps the WA authorities could do more to alert all travellers, whether their own people or interstate or overseas tourists, to their quarantine policies and to seek their cooperation in advance so that the rigour of the border searches (and the brusqueness of some officials) don't come as such a surprise.

No comments: