Importing into Australia
Australia has a chequered history of importing plants and animals which have ended up causing major problems to the native flora and fauna. This might have been done deliberately in an attempt to cope with another problem (eg cane toads to reduce the of beetles damaging the sugar cane plantations of north Queensland) or accidentally (eg Paterson’s Curse or lantana). However, there is an unfortunately very long list of plants and weeds that cause major problems within the Australian landscape. We’ve noticed a number of overseas companies offering to sell seeded paper into Australia, something that we believe should be avoided for these very reasons. Rather than looking at exotic imports, we encourage you to source your locally made seeded paper in Australia – from Paper-Go-Round of course!
Australia now has a strong bio-security regime that is intended to protect from unwanted exotic plants and plant diseases being brought into the country.
We at Paper-Go-Round make all our seeded paper here in Australia. We are based in Melbourne and all the seeds we use are already approved and in Australia! We also offer a wide range of Australian natives that can further enhance the Australian theme.
We advise great caution when buying any seeded paper from overseas as the Australian regulations are justifiably very strict. Past attempts at purchasing seeded paper from overseas have not been successful. A well known example of this is Katy Perry’s “Prism” album released in 2013. The Australian premium version contained a piece of seeded paper made in Australia (by Paper-Go-Round), which satisfied all the Australian requirements. The overseas US version contained seeded paper which sparked off a serious Customs quarantine alert and hit the international press – International Business Times or The Independent (UK)
Exporting to Other Countries from Australia
Many countries have documentation requirements for any plant matter such as seeds. Paper-Go-Round can assist with the provision of this documentation (extra charges apply). We can also make paper especially to comply with the requirements of other countries (eg NZ).
We have sent paper to various countries in the region (Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Malaysia, Taiwan) as well as countries in the EU.
At Paper-Go-Round, we focus on providing Australia with a reliable source of good quality seeded paper which complies with all regulatory requirements, as well as environmental considerations (such as promoting the use of Australian natives rather than water-thirsty exotic flowers).
In 2010, an exotic disease called Myrtle Rust was discovered in NSW (see below). It spreads easily among the species affected. The two States that have strong Quarantine regulations – WA & TAS are keen to stop its spread to them hence some of our seeded paper is not allowed into either State eg Bottlebrush paper. We will not send paper to either WA or TAS if it is not permitted entry.
Before sending seeded paper to either WA or TAS, we recommend you discuss the implications with us. We can normally supply necessary documentation but there might be additional inspection charges for WA. We can also assist in ways to minimize these.
Note that sending seeded paper to WA is not just a matter of labeling the envelope or package with the contents as there are now additional implications, with possible costs involved.
Why WA & TAS are so concerned
WA and TAS have always been concerned to protect their plant and animal life from exotic pests and diseases. This protection helps both the natural environment and also their farming and agricultural activities.
However, things got worse in 2010 as an exotic plant disease was discovered in NSW, called Myrtle Rust. This can have a devastating impact on a large number of Australia’s native trees and shrubs… those belonging to the Myrtaceae family which includes all the Teatrees, Bottlebrushes, Eucalypts, Lillypillys and more. It is not surprising that WA & TAS did not want Myrtle Rust in their States.
In mid 2010, WA & TAS banned all plant matter (including seeds) that could be affected by Myrtle Rust.
Impact of Myrtle Rust
Myrtle rust attacks young, soft, actively growing leaves, shoot tips and young stems, as well as fruits and flower parts of susceptible plants.
The first signs are small purple spots on the leaves. Within a week or two after infection, the spots produce masses of bright yellow spores. They then fade to dull yellow and grey as the infection ages.
Myrtle Rust is easily spread with spores carried by wind, water, insects and animals. It is also easily spread by humans on clothing, shoes, vehicles or equipment. Spores can infect plants many kilometres from the initial site of infection, causing rapid spread.
Myrtle rust could alter the composition and function of many ecosystems. As noted by the Invasive Species Council…”This incursion is about as bad as it can get for biosecurity in Australia – a new disease attacking our dominant plants, including species already on threatened lists.
“…the area of highest risk in NSW – the coastal zone from Illawarra to the Queensland border – includes a large proportion of the state’s conservation reserve system, many Myrtaceae-dominated ecological communities, and most of NSW’s World Heritage-listed area.”
For more information on Myrtle Rust and its control…