Rural Assurance - Postcode Review
Around 60,000 sea containers arriving in Australia each year are subject to ‘rural tailgate’ inspection.
A ‘rural tailgate’ inspection involves directing containers to a Quarantine Approved Premises, inspecting all external surfaces of the container before opening the doors and checking for obvious signs of pests, plant material and non–compliant packaging.
Inspections are determined according to a list of postcodes.
A comprehensive review of Australia’s urban–rural divide has proposed the following changes:
100 ‘fringe rural’ postcodes will change to metropolitan
45 rural postcodes will change to metropolitan
10 ‘fringe rural’ postcodes will become rural destinations
21 postcodes will be split between rural and metropolitan.
From 1 July 2012 a number of postcodes that have been used to identify rural destinations for cargo are being reclassified to reflect current land use patterns. There will be no more ‘fringe rural’ classification and a number of other locations will now be more accurately classified as ‘metropolitan’ (no longer requiring rural tailgate inspections). All shipping containers destined to be unpacked in rural areas will still be subject to tailgate inspections.
For over 20 years, delivery postcodes have been used as an indicator of rural land use. Containers unpacked in rural areas are subjected to a tailgate inspection due to the risk of pests or diseases establishing in these areas.
Australia has become more urbanised and more cargo is being unpacked in built–up areas that were previously considered rural locations. This has prompted a review of the list of postcodes used to identify the final destination of cargo.
All containers delivered to a rural destination will continue to be subject to a rural tailgate inspection. These occur before leaving the wharf district to manage the risks of pests, contamination and non–compliant packaging.
How will I be affected?
The decrease in inspections will impact differently across the country:
- Importers and consumers in the newly re–classified metropolitan postcode areas will benefit from cargo arriving sooner.
- This will be welcomed by those impacted by delays in the increasingly pressured freight supply chain.
- Some quarantine approved premises and transport providers who have serviced these inspections may see a reduction in demand.
- Importers will save through reduced DAFF tailgate inspections.
- ‘Fringe rural’ commercial areas that currently incur the costs of rural tailgates should become more affordable and competitive.
Will Australia’s biosecurity be compromised?
No. DAFF Biosecurity is focusing on wider range of imported goods than before – including goods destined for rural areas. This new biosecurity approach involves a partnership with suppliers, importers and transporters across the supply chain. Biosecurity initiatives will include a nation–wide approach to engaging with stakeholders and conducting monitoring and surveillance around airports and wharves. Information gathered from these activities will guide future biosecurity efforts to areas of greatest risk.
28 Jun 2012