PHA is the custodian of the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed (EPPRD; current version as of 22 January 2016). This is a formal legally binding agreement between PHA, the Australian Government, all state and territory governments and national plant industry body signatories.
It covers the management and funding of responses to emergency plant pest (EPP) incidents, including the potential for owner reimbursement costs for growers. It also formalises the role of plant industries’ participation in decision making, as well as their contribution towards the costs related to approved responses.
The ratification of the EPPRD in 2005 significantly increased Australia’s capacity to respond to emergency plant pest incursions. The key advantage of the EPPRD is more timely, effective and efficient response to plant pest incursions, while minimising uncertainty over management and funding arrangements. Other significant benefits include:
- potential liabilities are known and funding mechanisms are agreed in advance
- industry is directly involved in decision making about mounting and managing an emergency plant pest response from the outset
- a consistent and agreed national approach for managing incursions
- wider commitment to risk mitigation by all parties through the development and implementation of biosecurity strategies and programs
- motivation and rationale to maintain a reserve of trained personnel and technical expertise
- provision of accountability and transparency to all parties.
Underpinning the EPPRD is PLANTPLAN, the agreed technical response plan for an emergency plant pest incident. It provides nationally consistent guidelines for response procedures, outlining the phases of an incursion, as well as the key roles and responsibilities of industry and government during each of the phases. PLANTPLAN incorporates best practice in emergency plant pest responses, and is updated regularly to incorporate new information or address gaps identified by the outcomes of incident reviews.
More about PLANTPLAN
Other response agreements
While the EPPRD covers the plant sector, there is an equivalent agreement for the animal (livestock) sector called the Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement (EADRA).
The National Environmental Biosecurity Response Agreement (NEBRA) sets out emergency response arrangements, including cost-sharing arrangements, for responses to biosecurity incidents that primarily impact the environment and/or social amenity and where the response is for the public good.