I think the termite problem is that whilst there are more than enough domestic termites in Australia
many of the trees evolved along with them and evolved chemical protections to them. Foreign termites being new to the timber from the trees are immune from the evolved protections.
I was in Maryborough a few years ago and an entire large building was being plastic wrapped, I was told that it was to be fumigated to kill off an imported termite that was eating up all the timber in it. Your quaint little wooden geegaw from Tahiti
might put our historic buildings or homes at risk.
is fairly lucky in that it does not have many of the serious pests which abound in other places - rabies, fire ants etc. However, from having had to struggle with a number of them we imported ourselves - cactus, rabbits, cane toads etc. we are well aware of the damage and nuisance these things can be and have decided that prevention is better than cure. AQIS appears to do a pretty good job at this.
I have been in and out of Australia dozens of times and cleared in personnel effects a number of times and never had any problems with customs or immigration officials. I have also traveled extensively in other parts
of the world and with only a couple of exceptions found this to be the case world wide. Treated politely and with respect most people respond similarly.
Bob Norson is the bloke and the rag is Coastal Passage
. I think that Bob and his "rag" have done far more good than harm in exposing over zealous officialdom, particularly in Queensland
. I have been reading and enjoying the publication since it's inception in 2002 and noticed that in all instances Bob appeared very diligent in seeking out and presenting both sides of the story.
One instance of a good outcome was Bob's publication of a story about a family
who were hunted out of the Shoalwater Bay military training area. Whilst I did not have much sympathy for the victims, they had well overstepped the mark and the military needs somewhere to play with their toys, I also thought that the military tended to overdo the closures. Bob's publication of these peoples experience made it into the national daily in a full page feature article and the closure policy now is much more realistic in that where prudent ie. the military exercise is limited in scope
and unlikely to cause a hazard to the public, continued use of an anchorage in the training area is generally allowed.
has a website, go there and read some of the horror stories it publicizes. Whilst doing so be mindful that governments, particularly those at a state level, in Australia perceive the boating
public as rich floating dilettantes, a resource to be exploited by any means fair or foul to fund their profligate spending. The cost of liberty is eternal vigilance and we need the Bob Norson's of the world to help keep them in line.
Australia is a pretty good place to visit, the people are fairly friendly and laid back, you can drink the water
out of the taps and with very few exceptions walk the streets at night safely. If the official you are dealing with is tending to be an obnoxious bastard it is probably because that personally he or she is normally an obnoxious bastard and is not just fishing
for a bribe, which incidentally is very rare in Australia.