National Biosecurity Committee Meeting 26

​​4-5 October 2017

The National Biosecurity Committee (NBC) met on 4 and 5 October 2017 in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory.

A key consideration for the NBC was the 2017 Priorities for Australia’s biosecurity system: An independent review of the capacity of the national biosecurity system and its underpinning intergovernmental agreement (the review) report that was released on 26 July 2017.

During the meeting, the Committee also addressed:

  • the Aquatic Deed framework and underpinning policy approaches and agreed to provide these to Agricultural Senior Officials and Agricultural Ministers. The Committee remains committed to the delivery of a draft deed for consultation by the end of 2017
  • improving understanding and awareness of biosecurity nationally by providing national leadership and coordination to biosecurity consultation and communication activities and the development of a national biosecurity statement
  • the importance of improving surveillance and diagnostics capabilities through the implementation of the National Surveillance and Diagnostics Framework
  • delivery of the endorsed National Biosecurity Data and Information Governance Framework and the National Minimum Data Specifications. These are key governance documents that allow better data sharing
  • ensuring the visibility and priority of environmental biosecurity activities and efforts, including:
    • establishing a new Environment and Invasive Committee, which will have an enhanced focus on environmental biosecurity issues, in addition to continuing the work of the existing Invasive Plants and Animals Committee (IPAC)
    • continuing the successful NEBRA peer review process, with the Australian Capital Territory, South Australia and Tasmania to participate in the next round of reviews
    • responding to the recommendations of the recently released NEBRA Five Year review
  • The Debrief on the recent Tomato Potato Psyllid response under the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed.

The Committee agreed that the next meeting will be held in Hobart on 14-15 February 2018.

A strategic workshop was also held on the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper Biosecurity Initiatives. The workshop discussed strengthening surveillance, community-based action, scientific capability and information analysis.

For any questions or suggestions regarding the NBC communique, please email the NBC secretariat.

The National Biosecurity Committee is responsible for managing a national, strategic approach to biosecurity threats relating to plant and animal pests and diseases, marine and aquatic pests, and the impact of these on agricultural production, the environment, community wellbeing and social amenity. The committee provides advice to the Agriculture Senior Officials Committee and the Agriculture Ministers’ Forum on national biosecurity issues, and on progress in implementing the Intergovernmental Agreement on biosecurity.

For further information about the National Biosecurity Committee, you can visit the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources website.

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