Biosecurity is everyone's business
Barnaby Joyce and the Agriculture Department just released the top 40 national priority pests. Fortunately for Johnny Depp’s infamously smuggled dogs Pistol and Boo, they’re not on the list.
Our strong biosecurity system is estimated to save farms up to $17,500 per year in lost profits, so it’s reassuring to know that both the Federal and NSW governments are working hard to ensure the protection of Australian agriculture.
The Government’s continuing commitment to biosecurity is demonstrated in their latest budget with a promise of $15.9 million to further strengthen our processes for targeting and identifying high risk areas.
Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair said that a beefed up biosecurity presence is set to keep farmers in business, maintain export markets and provide greater protection for the broader NSW community.
Some of our key biosecurity risks are outlined in Australia’s top 40 National Priority Plant Pests and range from vine-attacking bacteria to giant snails. The 40 most unwanted pests are either not present or not widely established in Australia yet and that’s the way the government wants to keep it, asking the public to be extra vigilant when it comes to bringing plants or seeds to Australia. Reporting any unusual symptoms in plants or animals to local authorities is also encouraged.
While it’s up to all citizens of Australia to protect our unique environment, there are some individuals and groups who rise above the call of duty when assisting in biosecurity issues. If you know of any biosecurity champions who should be recognised, nominations for the 2017 Biosecurity Awards are now open.
For more information on the Australian Biosecurity Awards, including the nomination form, visit agriculture.gov.au/aba.