National Biosecurity Committee Meeting 27 and Strategic Workshop 14

The National Biosecurity Committee met on 14 and 15 February 2018 in Hobart, Tasmania.

The Committee progressed the development of a new Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity (IGAB) and identification of priority reform areas, and a national response to the 2017 Priorities for Australia’s biosecurity system review report.

The Committee considered a draft aquatic animal disease response deed and agreed consultation will commence with key stakeholders next month.

The Committee agreed to develop and implement data sharing protocols and principles for relevant biosecurity information, as well as overarching principles for property identification codes (PICs) for further consultation with industries.

The Committee established the new Environment and Invasives Committee, which will be responsible for providing national policy leadership on the identification, prevention and management of invasive plant, vertebrate and invertebrate species that adversely impact the environment, economy and community. This new sectoral committee replaces the previous Invasive Plants and Animals Committee and brings a greater focus to environmental biosecurity issues.

The Committee will also establish an Industry and Community Reference Group, which will offer an important stakeholder forum to inform key national biosecurity policies and reforms. It is expected that the Committee will engage with stakeholders shortly to bed down the role, membership and meeting arrangements of the Reference Group.

The Committee was also briefed on:

  • current and emerging biosecurity issues across Australia.
  • the debrief of the tomato potato psyllid response in Western Australia under the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed
  • the National Program for the Eradication of Red Imported Fire Ants in South-East Queensland
  • the National Carp Control Program
  • the review of the response to the finding of exposure of cattle to Bluetongue virus
  • a review of the national biosecurity system’s preparedness and response capability and capacity for environmental biosecurity incidents
  • the findings of the recent national environmental biosecurity stocktake
  • the MyPestGuide™ system for collection of general surveillance pest reports, and
  • Australia’s domestic fruit fly quarantine systems.

The Committee agreed that the next meeting would be held in Adelaide on 27‑28 June 2018.

For any questions or suggestions regarding this communique, please email the NBC Secretariat at NBC.

The National Biosecurity Committee is responsible for managing a national, strategic approach to biosecurity threats relating to plan 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 Minister’s Forum on national biosecurity issues, and on progress in implementing the Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity.

For further information on the National Biosecurity Committee, you can visit the Committee’s website, hosted by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.