New program director to coordinate plant biosecurity science

March 30, 2017

Following the recent announcement that plant rural research and development corporations (RDCs) have agreed to work more closely together to maximise opportunities for collaboration, Hort Innovation and Plant Health Australia (PHA) are to appoint a new program director to work across the seven plant-based RDCs.

Early in March, Wine Australia, Forest Wood Products Australia, Cotton Research and Development Corporation, Grains Research and Development Corporation, Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, Sugar Research Australia and Horticulture Innovation Australia announced a partnership to streamline funding and improve coordination of plant biosecurity programs.

Greg Fraser, Executive Director and CEO of PHA, said that the appointment will ensure that the commitment made by the plant-focussed RDCs and PHA to lead RD&E coordination, funding and delivery will come to fruition.

“The new Plant Biosecurity RD&E Program Director will be dedicated to strengthening cooperative arrangements”, Mr Fraser said.

“This will reduce fragmentation and improve prioritisation of research.  It is a major step forward in ensuring that RD&E across Australia is providing the answers that Australia’s plant producers, regulators and policy makers need.”

“The initiative will also allow for linkages between existing cross sectoral RD&E programs as well as the National Biosecurity Committee.”

Mr Fraser added that it will be a pivotal role since plant biosecurity and associated RD&E is crucial to sustaining the future of Australian farmers and the environment.