Australia’s Weed Risk Assessment system and the Permitted Seeds List

Belinda Riddle, David Porritt and Katrina Louise Reading, Biosecurity Australia, GPO Box 858, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.


The Australian Weed Risk Assessment (WRA) system is a pre-screening process which enables plant species with a low weed potential to be imported into Australia, while preventing the importation of plant species with a high weed potential. The WRA process is a three-tiered system which predicts the potential weediness of the plant being assessed. The score determines whether the plant is rejected, accepted or requires further evaluation. The changes to plant import policy necessary for the implementation of the WRA system, including replacing the ‘prohibited list’ with a permitted list, have been nationally and internationally accepted. In December 2006, Biosecurity Australia finalized the review of the Permitted Seeds List (Schedule 5 of the Quarantine Proclamation 1998). This review involved replacing 2913 genus-level listings that were on the Permitted Seeds List with the species within those genera that are already present in Australia and not under 'official control'.


Plant Protection Quarterly (2008) 23 (2) 77-79.