Australian agriculture has a strong trade focus and relies on the biosecurity system to safeguard industry from the impact of exotic pests and diseases.
We undertake risk analyses to establish a balance between Australia’s international trade obligations, and protecting Australian agriculture from the biosecurity risks that may be posed by importing goods.
Streamlining the risk analysis process is critical for us to continue facilitating two-way trade and maintaining positive international trade relations.
As part of strengthening biosecurity surveillance and analysis under the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper (the White Paper), new initiatives are being trialed to increase the efficiency of the risk analysis process.
We are exploring innovative approaches and undertaking trials to make the risk analysis process more efficient, to be able to reduce the number of outstanding market access requests in a timelier manner.
The overarching outcome of this work will be an improved biosecurity system which is more efficient and continues to maintain Australia’s plant health status.
New initiatives include:
- A trial of grouping market access requests, for the same commodity in a geographical area, for fresh date fruit from the Middle East and North Africa region (the main date producing region of the world). Through this biosecurity import requirements review we anticipate we won’t need to do any further risk analysis work on new market access requests for fresh dates, thus freeing up resources to progress other priority market access issues.
- Trialing grouping market access requests for the same commodity, table grapes, into one risk analysis. By grouping all of the market access and assessing requests collectively we are taking advantage of the significant amount of existing policy for this commodity. A feasibility study is being conducted as the first step for this initiative.
- Trialing a group pest risk analysis approach to analyse the biosecurity risk of groups of pests with similar biological characteristics across numerous import pathways. This will make our analysis of pests more effective and consistent.
Additionally we are:
- Dedicating stakeholder engagement resources to the risk analysis program to help improve communication about risk analyses and the related engagement with government and industry stakeholders.
- Appointing a Principal Scientific Analyst to streamline technical communication to provide technical advice and consistency in scientific policy and communication in risk analysis reports.
A number of strategic additional risk analyses are being actively progressed with funding (or part-funding) from the White Paper: