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Coen Information and Inspection Centre, Cape York Peninsula

Biosecurity Queensland Coen Information and Inspection Centre Cape York Peninsula

Biosecurity Queensland Coen Information and Inspection Centre Cape York Peninsula

Cape York Peninsula is a high-risk area for the entry of exotic pests and diseases. The far northern biosecurity zones 1 and 2 cover Cape York and the Torres Strait, north of the Coen Information and Inspection Centre. The 2 biosecurity zones act as a buffer against plant and animal pests and diseases which originate from countries to the north, as well as containing some emerging pests and diseases. These exotic and emerging pests and diseases could not only threaten the viability of our agricultural industries but could also introduce serious diseases to humans.

The Coen Information and Inspection Centre monitors this area for emerging threats such as the red banded caterpillar and exotic pests diseases such as citrus canker, banana skipper, foot and mouth disease, screw-worm fly and the papaya fruit fly.

What can you do?

  • Visit the Coen Information and Inspection Centre to learn about the high-risk exotic diseases and pests.
  • Become part of the biosecurity surveillance network while you are travelling in Cape York.
  • Be alert to large numbers of dead or sick animals or plants, particularly horticultural plants or eucalypts, maggot-infested sores on live animals, any sick animals or plants.
  • Avoid collecting animal or plant matter unless you are trained or advised to do so by Biosecurity Officers, as this might spread a pest or disease.
  • Don't move sugarcane, mango or banana plants or fruit.
  • Don't let livestock eat your food scraps.
  • Use appropriate dump sites.
  • Follow quarantine rules by not moving prohibited items including fresh fruit and vegetables, plants, animals and animal products from the outer islands, the Torres Strait protected zone to the Thursday Island Group, or from any of the islands to the mainland.
  • When travelling south, present all animals and plant material for inspection at the Coen Information and Inspection Centre.

Travelling north

While there are some weed species present within Cape York, many of Australia's most invasive species have yet to be detected in the area. We encourage visitors to the Cape to implement some basic biosecurity practices to help protect this sensitive area into the future. Good biosecurity practices include:

Before you leave home

  • Ensure your vehicle, trailer, boat and camping gear are clean from weed seed.

On the way north

  • Keep to designated roads and tracks while travelling within Cape York.
  • Break your northern journey by visiting the Coen Information Centre and talk to our local expert staff about:
    - biosecurity issues within Cape York
    - how to identify weeds present in the region and how to stop their spread
  • Conduct regular cleandowns - inside and out of vehicles and on clothing, particularly long pants, socks and boots (dispose of any seeds or vegetative material properly).

Cape York residents and visitors can play a key role in helping detect exotic pests and diseases. Early detection is the key to success.

If you see an exotic pest or disease of plants or animals contact the Coen Information and Inspection Centre on (07) 4060 1135, DAF Biosecurity Officers at Bamaga, Weipa or Cairns or call 13 25 23.

Contact us

Coen Information and Inspection Centre
Biosecurity Queensland
Peninsula Developmental Road, Opposite Coen Airport
Cape York
Ph: (07) 4060 1135 or email
Hours: 7 am - 5 pm (dry season) 7 am - 4 pm (wet season)
Night and weekend inspections may take place during the mango fruiting season


Display at the Coen Information and Inspection Centre

Further information

Last updated 19 September 2017