On 14 February 2018, the cross-jurisdictional National Biosecurity Committee (NBC) established the Environment and Invasives Committee (EIC). The EIC replaced the Invasive Plants and Animals Committee (IPAC), whose responsibilities have now been taken on by the new EIC. This decision addresses, in part, recommendation 10 of the 2017 independent report,
Priorities for Australia Biosecurity System PDF [3.09 MB, 188 pages]
The EIC is 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. The EIC provides a forum for identifying and resolving national priorities for freshwater and terrestrial invasive species as well as other species where there is an environmental or community biosecurity impact, that are not within the scope of another NBC sub-committee.
It also provides national policy leadership on environmental biosecurity more broadly, including engaging with stakeholders and working with other sub-committees to provide the NBC with consistent and consolidated advice on environmental biosecurity issues.
The core objectives of the committee include:
- delivering an integrated and effective national approach to the prevention, detection, identification, response and management of emerging and established invasive species that affect the environment, the economy and the community
- supporting the development and implementation of a nationally consistent and effective approach to biological control programs, activities and associated governance, administrative and legislative processes (where relevant)
- developing and implementing national strategies to:
- ensure a clear governance structure for the management of relevant species of national importance within the national biosecurity system, and
- prioritise research, development and extension in invasive species biosecurity.
- supporting national communication and stakeholder engagement on invasive species, including leading engagement with environmental biosecurity stakeholders
- assisting the efforts of the Commonwealth to meet Australia’s obligations under multilateral environmental agreements, being the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Sustainable Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals as they relate to environmental biosecurity, and
- providing the NBC with advice on national invasive species policy issues and the National Environmental Biosecurity Response Agreement.
Terms of Reference
Further information about the EIC and its responsibilities is set out in the committees
Terms of Reference DOCX
[28 KB, 4 pages].
Membership is comprised of representatives from the Australian state and territory primary industry and environment departments.
A member of the NBC is appointed as Chair of the EIC and is rotated every 2 years.
Representatives from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Plant Health Australia, Animal Health Australia, Wildlife Health Australia, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, and the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions are observers on the committee. The Chief Environmental Biosecurity Officer is also an observer.
|Bruce Christie||Chair – New South Wales Department of Primary Industries|
|Jo Laduzko||Member – Australian Government Department of Agriculture|
|John Gibbs||Co-member – Australian Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Energy|
|Alison McInnes||Member – Australian Capital Territory Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate|
|Andrew Sanger||Member – New South Wales Department of Primary Industries|
|Ben Russell||Co-member – New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage|
|John Robertson||Member – Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries|
|John Virtue||Member – South Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regions|
|Karl Hillyard||Co-member – South Australian Department for Environment and Water|
|Michael Askey-Doran||Member – Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment|
|Nigel Ainsworth||Member – Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions|
|Victoria Aitken||Member – Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development|
|Glenn Edwards||Member – Northern Territory Department of Environment and Natural Resources|
|Susanna Driessen||Observer – Plant Health Australia|
|Sam Allan||Observer – Animal Health Australia|
|Rupert Woods||Observer – Wildlife Health Australia|
|Andy Sheppard||Observer - Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation|
|Bertie Hennecke||Observer - Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences|
|Andreas Glanznig||Observer – Centre for Invasive Species Solutions|
|Ian Thompson||Observer – Chief Environmental Biosecurity Officer|
Secretariat support is provided by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture.
The EIC is supported by five ongoing expert working or advisory groups that provide policy, technical and scientific advice on relevant matters:
- Freshwater Vertebrates and Invertebrates Working Group
- Weeds Working Group
- Terrestrial Vertebrates Working Group
- Terrestrial Invertebrates Working Group, and
- Environmental Biosecurity Advisory Group.
The EIC will also form short term task-specific groups from time to time to provide advice and deliver key initiatives.
The EIC (and IPAC previously) is progressing work under the 2019 revised Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity, as well as NBC priorities, by providing national policy leadership in the identification, prevention and management of invasive plants and animals, including through:
Key issues considered by the IPAC and EIC are outlined in the meeting communiqués listed below.
Note: IPAC did not release a communiqué for meetings 1, 2 and 3. A decision was made at IPAC 4 (November 2015) to publish communiqués from that point onwards.
If you have any questions about the EIC, please contact the secretariat at