A boat carrying cars and machinery has been sent home because bugs on board could have decimated Australia’s $12billion horticultural industry.
The Triumph, owned by Armacup, had come through multiple ports and will now go back to China.
Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said Australia would never compromise on keeping its farm sector safe.
‘‘Department of Agriculture inspections found more than a hundred brown marmorated stink bugs and other bugs on the Triumph, which indicates a live population on the boat,’’ Mr Littleproud said.
‘‘These bugs eat everything from tomatoes to apples and broccoli to beans.
‘‘They also gather in people’s houses and stink to high heaven.
‘‘Australia is extremely lucky to be relatively isolated by sea, which helps us keep pests and diseases out.
‘‘We sell our produce for premium prices overseas because it’s clean and green — we have very few pests and diseases.’’
The bug comes from Asia and is now wreaking havoc in parts of Europe.