The former head of the Australian Garlic Industry Association has been sentenced to 11 months jail time for illegally importing garlic bulbs.
Ayiana director Letetia Ware pleaded guilty to importing garlic bulbs over a three year period for the purposes of commercial cultivation, without the required import permit.
Tasmania's Supreme Court of Tasmania sentenced ms Ware to 11 months jail time with a no parole period of two months, and placed her on a three year good behaviour bond.
Garlic can carry one of Australia's biggest plant threats, the Xylella fastidiosa disease that affects more than 350 species of native, commercial and garden plants.
Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie said the illegal imports put Australia's $7 billion horticulture industry at serious risk, and an outbreak of Xylella could severely disrupt crop production, and cause the quarantining of properties.
"The penalties handed down at today send a clear message that there are severe repercussions for those who break the rules," ms McKenzie said.
"Illegally imported plant and animal material that is intentionally hidden from our biosecurity checks is a potential pathway for pests and diseases to establish in Australia.
"Any incursion would significantly impact Tasmania's international reputation and market access as well as the incomes of farming families and regional communities.
"I welcome the tough penalties handed down by courts today and hope they act as a strong deterrent for anyone looking to harm Australia's biosecurity status."
Ms Ware was found guilty of breaching subsection 67(3) of the Quarantine Act 1908 (commercial advantage) and subsection 186(4) (commercial advantage) of the Biosecurity Act 2015 for contravening conditions applying to conditionally non-prohibited goods brought or imported into Australian territory.