Stakeholders have until the end of February to comment on a draft report prepared by an independent review committee on Australia’s biosecurity arrangements, including the Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity.
The review, supported by Commonwealth, state and territory governments, was launched last March by agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce.
The review is being led by a three-person panel comprising former NFF chief executive, Dr Wendy Craik, former MLA managing director David Palmer and former director general of the NSW DPI, Dr Richard Sheldrake.
A number of livestock industry representative bodies have already tabled submissions, but the review panel is seeking feedback on its proposals and submissions contained in the draft report by Monday 27 February. The committee’s full draft report can be accessed here.
Australia’s biosecurity system underpins international market access for Australia’s agricultural exports, and has served Australia well in protecting the continent from many animal, plant pests and diseases found elsewhere in the world. It also faces many current and emerging challenges.
Key points raised in the draft review highlight issues which will all continue to place significant pressure on Australia’s biosecurity system, including declining government resources, increased global trade and travel, increased agricultural expansion and intensification, increased urbanisation close to farmlands and climate change.
The draft review considers the capacity of the national biosecurity system to manage these biosecurity risks, and the role of future agreements between Australian governments in realising a stronger national system. It also considers funding options for the national system; measuring system performance, and ways to strengthen governance.
The draft report proposes 40 recommendations aimed at improving the national biosecurity system over the next five years. Implementation of these recommendations will require strong and collective leadership by governments, working in partnership with industry, the review panel says.
Written submissions, accompanied by a completed cover sheet (accessible here), can be made by:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or
- Post: IGAB Review Secretariat, Dept of Agriculture and Water Resources, GPO Box 858, CANBERRA ACT 2601