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Long investigation lifts the lid on illegal interstate trade of lupin

Lupin anthracnose symptoms on a crop of albus lupins.
Photo: Kurt Lindbeck, NSW DPI

A 12-month investigation conducted by the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) found 2700 tonnes of Western Australian lupin grain was illegally imported into NSW during 2018 and 2019.

Regulations apply for the movement of lupin plant material into NSW to prevent the introduction of Lupin anthracnose and to protect NSW’s $65 million lupin industry from the devastating disease.

The department was first notified by email of the suspected illegal importation of WA lupin grain and an on-site investigation at a facility in Parkes confirmed it was WA lupin grain. The importer had to spend $52,000 to export the lupins back to WA to comply with a biosecurity direction.

Illegal importation of lupin evidenceEvidence collected during the investigation of illegal lupin imports from WA into NSW. Photo: James Boyce, ROU  NSW DPI

Over the next 12 months investigations were carried out into the grain trading of 70 businesses, including grain brokers, wholesalers, processors and producers in NSW, WA, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland.

DPI officers carried out multiple inspections to assess compliance to biosecurity directions, collect evidence and manage risks associated with the imported lupin grain.

The outcome of this investigation is a great result for the NSW grain industry.

While the investigation phase and enforcement actions have now been completed for this illegal importation, the ongoing work to raise the awareness of everyone involved in the grain supply chain about their obligations and responsibilities in relation to biosecurity and interstate quarantine will need to continue.

All grain growers and grain traders have a responsibility to ensure they are not putting our farms or our industry at a biosecurity risk.

A proactive five-point Lupin anthracnose management plan adopted by producers is helping keep NSW free of the disease.

A Lupin anthracnose-free NSW saves the state an estimated $5.5 million in annual control costs.

Lupin anthracnose is a notifiable disease in NSW and suspected cases must be reported to the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881 or by emailing

For more information about Lupin anthracnose disease, visit the DPI website.

Further information about the Interstate quarantine restrictions on the movement of plant material, or specific plant pests can be found on the Interstate Quarantine website.

Information about grain biosecurity can be found on Farm Biosecurity.


The investigation undertaken by the Regulatory Operations Unit was made possible through assistance from a number of individuals from other groups within the NSW DPI and with support from Quarantine, WA.

More information: Patrick Phillips, NSW DPI,; Bill Gordon, NSW DPI,

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