A new plan for plant biosecurity

NEW BIOSECURITY PLAN: Plant Health Australia chief executive Sarah Corcoran.

A NATIONAL Plant Biosecurity Strategy (NPBS) released last week by Plant Health Australia (PHA) provides a framework to strengthen Australia’s plant biosecurity system over the next decade.

PHA chief executive officer Sarah Corcoran said plant biosecurity risks are mounting as well as the challenge of maintaining Australia’s pest-free status.

“The strategy sets the direction for activities across the system and drives the way for effective collaboration and action by governments, plant industries and the community to protect our producers and the end-to-end supply chain,” Ms Corcoran said.

The updated NPBS is designed to inform investment across all aspects of the system, guide efforts to address the most important priorities and effectively manage current and future biosecurity challenges.

Implementation of the strategy will be assisted by funding from the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE).

Australia’s chief environmental biosecurity officer Dr Robyn Cleland said the importance of protecting Australia’s environmental assets is recognised by the strategy as well as how it highlights the value of collaboration between industry and the community.

“Community awareness and participation are critical in an effective biosecurity system,” Dr Cleland said.

“We all have a role to play in protecting our unique environment and way of life.”

Development of the strategy followed consultation with a wide range of stakeholders, including governments and plant industry bodies as well as environmental and community groups.

Plant Industries Biosecurity Committee chair John McDonald said the biosecurity strategy would lay a sturdy foundation.

“Australia’s plant industries play a critical role in our national plant biosecurity system underpinning Australia’s high health food, fibre and foliage production,” Mr McDonald said.

“Through careful implementation of these strategies, we can help safeguard Australia’s trade, economy, way of life and the environment.”