Vital information for travelling farm workers

​​​​​​​​​What is biosecurity?

Biosecurity is protecting the economy, environment and people’s health from pests and disease. It includes trying to prevent new pests and diseases from arriving, and helping to control outbreaks when they do occur.

Australian plant producers and agriculture authorities recognise the important contribution made by travelling farm workers.

Initiatives such as the National Harvest Trail are a great opportunity for travelling farm workers to earn some money and see Australia’s rural and regional areas, while helping fruit and vegetable producers during a busy time of year.

The production of crops to supply domestic and overseas markets is important to Australia and vital to our economy.  For this reason it is crucial that Australia’s plants and crops remain free of weeds, pests and diseases.

Weed seeds, plant pests and diseases are not always noticeable and people can move them between properties without knowing. People travelling around Australia and working on many different farms need to be aware of this and take a few simple precautions to prevent spreading pests and diseases.


You can stop agricultural pests and diseases from spreading!

Plant pests and diseases as well as weed seeds can easily spread from one property to another on clothing, shoes, equipment and vehicles.
The biosecurity measures below will reduce your chance of moving a weed, plant pest or disease onto another property:

  • Make sure your vehicle is free of mud, soil, seeds and plant material. While it is recommended that you wash the wheels and undercarriage with a high pressure, high temperature washer (> 75 oC) before entering the property, using cold water to remove dirt will also work. 
  • Check your clothing, hair and hats for any seeds or plant material. Pay special attention to your shoes as they can easily carry contaminated soil and seeds.
  • Clean and disinfect any equipment (such as pruning shears) in between use on different properties. (Wipe your equipment over with soapy water and then disinfectant. Remember that unless an item is thoroughly clean, it will not be satisfactorily disinfected).
  • When arriving at a new property, park in the designated area for visitors or well away from cropping or plantation areas.
  • Report to the homestead or the farm’s office. Do not enter cropping or plantation areas without permission and be sure to follow the manager’s conditions of entry.
  • If you see a plant pest or disease symptom that you think is unusual, report it to the farm manager or owner immediately.

For more information visit

Call the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881 to report plant pests, diseases and weeds.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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