Plant Health Australia (PHA) and Hort Innovation have announced the appointment of Stuart Burgess as the new manager of the National Fruit Fly Council (NFFC).
Burgess brings professional expertise in industry leadership in trade and biosecurity related programmes with wide ranging experience in whole of industry leadership, management, and development at national, state and business levels, across a broad spectrum of government, industry and commercial sectors.
He is highly experienced, having been the chief executive of Fruit Growers Tasmania and Fund Manager and Industry Services Manager at Hort Innovation. Burgess will bring a rich understanding of biosecurity particularly as it relates to trade and bilateral trade operations and a strong and long-term connection to the Australian horticultural and agricultural sectors.
“I’m very excited to join the NFFC. With my expertise in industry leadership in trade and biosecurity related programs across sectors, I’m ready to hit the ground running,” said Burgess.
The presence of some species of exotic fruit fly in Australia could devastate Australia’s domestic and international horticultural trade valued at over A$9bn.
The NFFC works with growers and fruit fly management community groups across all states and territories to develop and communicate management options for fruit fly on a national scale. The council focuses on improving the bottom line for producers through initiatives that enable them to produce clean, fruit-fly free produce, which will result in better domestic and international market access.
Burgess will continue to monitor and drive progress against the National Fruit Fly Strategy and lead the development of a cost-effective and sustainable national approach to fruit fly management.
“Stuart is the perfect fit with a strong and long-term connection to the Australian horticultural and agricultural sectors,” said Matt Brand, the outgoing chief executive of Hort Innovation.
“The NFFC is a great example of another successful partnership between industry and government. Stuart’s selection emphasises PHA’s ongoing commitment to a strong biosecurity partnership,” said Mila Bristow, PHA’s national manager: performance and innovation.
Along with a full-time project officer, Burgess will be supported by PHA’s executive management team with oversight from Bristow.