A 54 year old Brisbane man, Peter Gooding, appeared before the District Court of Queensland on 13 December 2018 and was convicted of 76 charges of aiding his company, Storetrans Pty Ltd, trading as Goodings Container Transport, to deal with goods at non-quarantine approved premises without the permission of a quarantine officer or a director of quarantine. Gooding was sentenced 12 months imprisonment on each offence to be served concurrently, to be released immediately upon the entry of a bond on the condition that he be of good behaviour for a period of 3 years. A single fine of $20,000 was also imposed on the offender. His company was fined $100,000.
On 76 occasions over a period of 23 weeks between August 2014 and February 2015, the offending company stored a total of 155 refrigerated containers of imported uncooked pig meat and pig fat (“raw pork”) at his business premises, located at the Port of Brisbane. The location was not approved by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources for storage of imported goods that were subject to quarantine directions.
The total quantity of raw pork stored was 3,612,084.75 kilograms (3,612 tonnes) and was ultimately delivered to the Hans/Primo smallgoods manufacturer at Wacol, Brisbane.
Imported raw pork is subject to stringent quarantine requirements upon entry to Australia. The Australian pork industry is largely disease free. Strict adherence to biosecurity protocols is essential to minimise the risk of outbreaks of diseases introduced through a breakdown in the biosecurity chain, such as Foot and Mouth Disease, which have wide scale impacts on livestock and the economy.
Gooding had industry knowledge of the risks associated with contravening quarantine directions, having previously operated quarantine-approved premises in Hemmant, Brisbane. The offender’s former facility was put on notice of possible suspension or revocation of its quarantine approval, after being assessed as not meeting certain requirements. Gooding subsequently closed that facility and moved operations to the Port of Brisbane.
The offending was identified during an audit of an unrelated facility that was required to store the raw pork, subject to quarantine directions. An extensive investigation was undertaken by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.
Gooding’s sentences of 12 months imprisonment were ordered to be concurrent and he was released immediately on a good behaviour bond for a period of three years. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $20,000.
The defendant’s company, Storetrans was ordered to pay a fine of $100,000 within a period of two years for its part in the offending.
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