Australia’s biosecurity defences have been boosted with another 96 more officers assigned to target frontline biosecurity risks.
The deployment follows a major Commonwealth recruitment drive for biosecurity officers earlier this year in response to threats posed by African swine fever (ASF) and “hitchhiker pests” like khapra beetles.
Agriculture and Northern Australia Minister David Littleproud said the bulk recruitment was part of the Commonwealth’s commitment to getting more boots on the ground at major ports, airports, and mail centres.
“An outbreak of ASF could potentially cost Australian industry $2.03 billion over five years,” he said.
“It has no vaccine and can kill upward of 80 per cent of the pigs it infects. It’s never breached Australian shores.
“Frontline resources are critical to managing emerging biosecurity risks [like ASF],” he said.
In related news, the federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment will look at Queensland’s success in tackling illegal online plant sales in its next biosecurity webinar.
The free webinar will also showcase the work of the 2021 Australian Biosecurity Award winners.
Click here for more information about the webinar at 11am on 29 November