Breaches steer company towards a hefty fine

Coynes Freight Management Group Pty. Ltd. has been convicted and fined more than $10,000 for breaching Quarantine Approved Premise (QAP) conditions.

Acting First Assistant Secretary of Compliance at the Department of Agriculture, Tina Hutchison, said QAPs were seen as a critical component of Australia’s frontline biosecurity protection.

“Our biosecurity rules are in place for a reason—to protect our $54 billion agricultural industries, environment and way of life,” Ms Hutchison said.

“QAPs provide a high degree of security and control against the introduction of exotic pests and diseases by providing a place where post-entry quarantine requirements can be carried out on risk goods.

“In this instance, we were advised by the Australian Federal Police of a container holding engines that was imported and moved to a QAP managed by Coynes Freight Management Group Pty. Ltd.

“While there, a number of engines were handled without a QAP accredited person directly supervising and were permitted to leave the area without approval.

“Engines pose a biosecurity risk as they can help dangerous pests and materials hitchhike their way into Australia. This includes live insects, soil and mud, as well as plant material such as twigs, leaves, roots and bark.

“The department suspected that this was not an isolated event and through an investigation it was alleged that Coynes had contravened their QAP approval a number of times, which was eventually found to be true.”

On 14 April 2016 in the Melbourne Magistrates Court, the company pled guilty to one charge of recklessly contravening a QAP condition contrary to s.46A(8) of the Quarantine Act 1908.

“We understand that running a large business is complex and involves a number of regulations, but significant lapses such as this can expose us to significant risks.

”This investigation and conviction demonstrates how seriously we take our responsibility to safeguard Australia from exotic pests and diseases.”

For more information on QAPs, visit Quarantine app​roved premises.​
Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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