Another good decision by Environment Minister Peter Garrett - this time to keep bumblebees out of mainland Australia. Certain hydroponic industry interests thought it would be a good idea to bring them in for pollination services in greenhouses. This was always a naive proposal without sufficient regard to the environment. Suggesting that the bumblebees would be contained within greenhouses was equally naive - they've escaped from greenhouses pretty well anywhere they've been used in this way.
We have feral bumblebees in Tasmania but not on the Australian mainland.
Mr Garrett said "As we’ve seen with animals like the cane toad, originally brought to Australia to deal with pests in sugar cane crops, the introduction of alien species into Australia can have serious environmental consequences."
"The scientific evidence and advice I have received suggests that the environmental and economic risks of a large earth bumblebee population spreading throughout mainland Australia are significant."