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Launceston Airport potato smuggling woman fined in court after biosecurity run-in

Pulse Tasmania
Potatoes. Image / Stock

A Tasmanian woman who tried to carry a potato-growing kit into the state from Melbourne copped a fine in Court.

The woman was stopped at Launceston Airport on August 14 2023 after a detector dog alerted authorities to her luggage.


A biosecurity officer questioned the woman and found the Aldi potato kit, which she planned to plant in her garden.

She was issued with an infringement notice and fined $195 for failing to declare the potatoes, according to The Examiner.

Passengers board an aircraft at Launceston Airport. Image / Supplied

She pleaded not guilty in the Launceston Magistrates Court, telling the magistrate she had been undergoing chemotherapy and had a “foggy brain”.

“Biosecurity laws are taken very seriously in this state and this country,” Magistrate Sharon Cure said.

Potatoes. Image / Stock

“I understand why sometimes people choose to come to court and I realise you had some unfortunate side effects from chemotherapy, and you’ve had some health challenges.”

“While there is no Aldi in Launceston, you could have gone to Bunnings and purchased seed potatoes instead.”


In concluding the case, Cure said there would be no conviction recorded and the woman’s court costs would be waived.

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