A year-long trial of a 3D X-ray unit has commenced at Melbourne International airport to help detect biosecurity risks faster and more effectively.
Minister for Agriculture, David Littleproud said the Rapiscan RTT 110 X-Ray unit was a huge step forward for Australia’s biosecurity.
“Our clean green reputation makes Australian produce valued overseas and we have to protect that,” Minister Littleproud said.
“We’re seeing more people, mail and cargo come through our borders.
“That means more risk to Aussie farmers and we’ve got to stay on top of it. We need to make sure they’re not bringing in pests or items carrying pests, which could destroy our farm sector.
“Our biosecurity officers do a great job but they can’t check every bag.
“Australia is a world leader in biosecurity and we always strive to be better. New technology like this X-ray unit is an important part of keeping pests out.
“This world-first trial with Biosecurity NZ will change the way we work for the better.”
X-ray images from Melbourne and Auckland airports will be combined into an image library then used to create an algorithm that can instantly identify high-risk items.
The algorithm will be trialled with fruit for six-months, then on vegetables, seeds and meat.