The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources works with its stakeholders to maintain and improve plant health in Australia.
Plant health is critical to the:
- long-term viability of Australia’s agricultural cropping, horticultural and forestry industries
- protection of the environment
- sustainability of animal-based industries.
Favourable plant health status
Australia has a favourable plant health status, being free from many of the damaging plant pests that occur in other countries. Favourable plant health status helps Australia to maintain and gain access to new domestic and international markets for plants and plant products.
Australia's plant health system
We maintain and improve Australia’s favourable plant health status through a nationally coordinated plant health system. This system helps to protect Australia's plant industries and environment from the effects of economically important:
Our plant health system aims to minimise the effects of pests, diseases and weeds should they be detected in Australia, by building surveillance and diagnostic capability and capacity and managing
emergency preparedness and response arrangements.
International and domestic movements
The department works with the
import cargo and shipping industry to strengthen Australia’s biosecurity.
biosecurity risk analyses to:
- identify any biosecurity risks associated with the import of plants and plant products
- establish risk management measures to ensure they can be safely imported, where appropriate.
We work to create new and maintain existing
export market opportunities that provide the greatest gains for primary industries.
competitive net agricultural exporter, Australia’s plant industries—including horticulture, grains and forestry—are largely dependent on trade to remain profitable and sustainable.
Pests, diseases and weeds can spread from one part of Australia to another. The department contributes to the safe domestic movement of plants and plant products. For information on the movement of plant material within Australia, see the
Quarantine Domestic website or call 1800 084 881.
Working together in plant health
Protecting Australia’s human health, social amenity, the economy or the environment is everyone’s responsibility. All Australians should work together to maintain the country’s national plant health system, to prevent or minimise the risk of exotic weeds, pests and diseases entering and spreading in our country.
Australian Chief Plant Protection Officer (ACPPO) provides leadership in the development of national plant health policy and an international focus for Australia’s plant health. The ACPPO works on a range of activities directed at maintaining our plant health status and preparedness and responding to plant health issues, such as incursions of emergency plant pests. Much of this is done in partnership with state and territory governments, plant industries and
Plant Health Australia, a not-for-profit private company with government and industry membership.
national arrangements for plant health ensure that interest groups responsible for various plant health issues work together in a coordinated and strategic way.
Emergency preparedness and response
Australia is fortunately free from many plant pests and diseases and weeds that may harm its agricultural sector and environment.
A key aspect of the national plant health system is preparedness for potential threats and arrangements to enhance our capacity and ability to respond to incidents, and prevent incursions. Should an incursion of an exotic plant pest occur in Australia, we have well established response arrangements in place.
National pests & disease outbreak for information on national pest, disease and weed incursions.
International plant health activities
International activities aim to provide early warning of exotic pests and mitigate risks associated with plant pests outside Australia, including:
- regional plant health surveillance and capacity development programs in Australia’s nearest neighbouring countries
- coordination of Australia’s contribution to international plant health to ensure that international standards support the department’s goals and Australia meets its international phytosanitary obligations in relation to
international plant protection.