Report sums up plant biosecurity efforts

The tenth edition of the National Plant Biosecurity Status Report reveals the tremendous effort being made across the country to sustain our plant industries and our unique ecosystems.

The report, produced annually by Plant Health Australia (PHA), is a go-to reference for anyone seeking to understand Australia’s plant biosecurity system and its performance.

The 2017 report was developed with input from 90 contributors and details the efforts being made by Australian and state governments, industries, research agencies and the community.

“This year the National Plant Biosecurity Status Report displays the system through the three layers of protection: pre-border, at the border and post-border, with examples of how this works in specific circumstances,” said PHA chair Steve McCutcheon.

The report profiles 40 plant industries, providing information on the value of the crop, main growing areas and priority pests.

It identifies the greatest exotic pest threats and explains the mechanisms in place, including surveillance and diagnostics, to maintain the pest status of plant industries.

31 case studies highlight facets of the biosecurity system including eradication efforts, surveillance programs, regionalised and priority pests, innovations and events.

This includes aspects of the $200 million investment in improving biosecurity surveillance and analysis through the Australian Government’s Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper to better target critical biosecurity risks and help improve market access for Australian producers.

“The report also details 700 scientific projects being undertaken around Australia by researchers and funders seeking to solve challenges affecting plant industries and our unique environment,” said PHA executive director and chief executive officer Greg Fraser.

“Each project sheds light on some aspect of plant or bee biosecurity that will inform better management of pests, crop production and the environment,” Mr Fraser said.

Plant Health Australia is the national coordinator of the government-industry partnership for plant biosecurity.

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