Second-generation plan aims to strengthen plant biosecurity system over next decade

Plant Health Australia (PHA) has released the 2021-2031 National Plant Biosecurity Strategy (NPBS).

The second-generation strategy provides a framework aimed at strengthening Australia’s plant biosecurity system over the next decade.

It outlines four focus areas needed to build a “resilient and contemporary” national plant biosecurity system, according to PHA.

“Plant biosecurity risks are mounting as is the challenge of maintaining Australia’s pest free status,” said PHA chief executive, Sarah Corcoran. 

“The strategy sets the direction for activities across the system and drives the way for effective collaboration and action by governments, plant industries and the community to protect our producers and the end-to-end supply chain.” 

The Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) will fund PHA to coordinate a NPBS Implementation Group to oversee implementation of the strategy. 

DAWE’s chief plant protection officer, Gabrielle Vivian-Smith, said the investment recognised the importance of effective coordination to successful implementation of the strategy.

“Delivery of the strategy requires collective effort nationally,” Vivian-Smith said. “The implementation group will play a key role aligning efforts of participants across our system and highlights PHA’s strong record bringing stakeholders together.”

Development of the strategy was informed through consultation with a wide range of stakeholders, including governments and plant industry bodies, as well as environmental and community groups.