The National Biosecurity Committee met on 31 October and 1 November 2018 in Perth, Western Australia.
The final meeting and workshop for the year presented an opportunity for the Committee to reflect on achievements and to plan for 2019.
The Committee noted the range of work by government and industry on further strengthening Australia’s traceability systems for livestock and plant products along the supply chain and reaffirmed the importance of having industry from all points in the supply chain at the table.
The Committee approved the implementation plan to address vulnerabilities in the national domestic fruit fly system, committing technical staff and resources to ensure completion of this plan within the required timeframes, and agreed to adopt new national standards for post-harvest treatment of susceptible product with methyl bromide.
Key milestones for the finalisation of the Aquatic Deed were agreed and the decision taken that the Centre of Invasive Species Solutions (CISS) would coordinate implementation of the National Environment and Community Biosecurity Research Development and Extension Strategy. Funding to support CISS in this important role over the next two years was also agreed.
Stakeholder engagement remains a high priority for the Committee. The proposed approach for the Industry and Community Reference Group was agreed, as was the continuation of the biosecurity roundtables. The Committee also supported the proposal for a peri-urban biosecurity forum, demonstrating governments’ commitment to continuing working with stakeholders on biosecurity issues.
The Committee considered progress toward the finalisation of the National Carp Control Plan, which is to be provided to governments in December 2019, including next steps and likely timeframes.
The Committee also discussed:
- current and emerging biosecurity issues and responses across Australia
- the findings of the review of preparedness and response capability and capacity for environmental biosecurity incidents
- the final report for the recent cross-jurisdictional Exercise Border Bridge
- the National Program for the Eradication of Red Imported Fire Ants in South-East Queensland, and
- a project to prioritise pests for potential eradication or improved management.
At the workshop on 1 November 2018, the Committee discussed current and emerging biosecurity skills and capabilities gaps, agreeing to develop a strategy to address these issues. It also heard updates on initiatives to increase community awareness of biosecurity issues and met with the recently appointed inaugural Chief Environmental Biosecurity Officer, Ian Thompson. Mr Thompson and the Committee discussed how they could best work together on environmental biosecurity issues.
The Committee agreed that its next meeting would be in Queensland on 26-27 March 2019.
For any questions regarding this 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 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.