The implementation plan to assist in delivery of Australia’s first National Biosecurity Strategy (NBS), a collaborative, national approach to protecting Australia from exotic pests and diseases backed by all government agriculture ministers, has been released.
First Assistant Secretary for Biosecurity Strategy and Reform with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Bronwen Jaggers said the implementation plan would inform the delivery of the NBS and reinforce the shared responsibility across government, industry, and the community of biosecurity as a national priority.
“The implementation plan reinforces the commitments to action all agriculture ministers made under the NBS and will allow stakeholders to better understand how the strategy will progress and roll out over its 10-year life span,” Ms Jaggers said.
“Biosecurity is a shared national responsibility, and it affects all Australians. A foundational element of the NBS is to ensure we build stronger partnerships between all levels of governments, industry, and stakeholders to achieve the most robust biosecurity system for the country, and by providing a clear implementation plan, we are doing just that.
“With changing trade and travel patterns and growing biosecurity risks in our region, managing biosecurity is increasingly complex, but any breach of our system could have significant consequences on Australia’s unique flora, fauna and way of life as well as our agricultural sector and access to international markets. It is important all the key players are aligned to counter biosecurity threats.
“The implementation plan will assist and guide development of national action plans and monitor progress to ensure that rollout of the NBS supports a connected, resilient and shared national biosecurity system that protects Australia in the long-term.”
Australia’s federal, state and territory agricultural ministers endorsed the 10-year NBS in August 2022.
Significant effort into a collaborative approach to deliver the strategy has included focused engagement with a wide range of stakeholders across the biosecurity system, including industry, landowners and managers, environmental groups and the community.
The implementation plan has been developed in consultation with National Biosecurity Strategy Implementation Committee (NIC) and Working Group, overseen by the National Biosecurity Committee. The NIC and Working Group were established in 2023 to support the delivery of the National Implementation Plan and National Action Plan, to bring a range of commercial and technical insights to shaping and driving practical delivery of the plan.
“I would like to thank the members of the NBS Implementation Committee for leading development of the implementation plan, while drawing in a wide variety of new stakeholder insights into shaping where best we can target our collective efforts. It’s a great reminder that biosecurity is a team sport, and we achieve more by working together,” Ms Jaggers said.
Work to deliver the first National Action Plan, including surveys, focus groups and consultation with stakeholders with relevant expertise and interest, has also been underway. A draft of the National Action Plan, comprising an initial set of actions for implementation under the strategy is planned to be released for public consultation in early 2024.
In parallel to the NBS implementation and action planning, work continues to progress on several fronts to further strengthen Australia’s biosecurity system.
The National Biosecurity Strategy Implementation Plan can be accessed online at www.biosecurity.gov.au/about/national-biosecurity-committee/nbs