National biosecurity strategy based on ‘shared responsibility’

Agriculture ministers have signed off on a new 10-year national strategy to collectively manage emerging animal and plant disease threats.

The National Biosecurity Strategy builds on the National Biosecurity Statement published in 2018 and outlines six priority areas, including:

  • Promoting biosecurity as a shared responsibility;
  • Strengthening partnerships and networks between stakeholders;
  • Building workforce capability and response capacity;
  • Developing a coordinated approach to preparedness and response;
  • Ensuring adequate future investment in biosecurity priorities; and
  • Creating a science-based system to support research and decision-making.

Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Murray Watt said the strategy would provide clear direction to ensure biosecurity arrangements could meet the challenges of the next decade and beyond.

“The management of Australia’s biosecurity system is becoming increasingly complex, creating new challenges for governments, industry and community stakeholders in protecting our agricultural sector,” Mr Watt said.

“Strong and efficient biosecurity is even more important as we respond to emerging challenges including diseases on our doorstep including Foot and Mouth Disease, African Swine Fever, Lumpy Skin Disease, and Xylella.

“I’m really pleased that a new spirit of cooperation between Federal, State, and Territory Agriculture Ministers has seen the strategy finalised and released so soon after the change of government.

A national plan to implement the strategy, along with a national action plan, will be developed over the next six to 12 months.