December 4, 2015
On 25 November, PHA held a series of meetings for members: the Plant Industry Forum, an Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed (EPPRD) signatories meeting, and the 15th Annual General Meeting.
Plant Industry Forum
Led by the chair Matt Kealley, industry members discussed the PHA–AHA Joint Industry Forum held on the previous day, PHA’s engagement with non-signatories and non-signatory attendance at meetings.
Greg Fraser, Executive Director and CEO of PHA, gave an overview of activities in the area of fruit flies, and an update on the selection process used to identify new PHA directors.
Sarah Hilton from DAWR, on behalf of Plant Health Committee, discussed the process of prioritising pests, including criteria that could be used to prioritise pests; projects (by CSIRO and CEBRA) underway to develop a detailed prioritisation model; identification of 30 interim national priority pests until a model(s) is finalised and endorsed; and seeking advice from the industry members present about how they would like to participate in the process.
Tony Callan, also from DAWR, talked about the current Rapid Response Team purpose, funding, and governance, going on to say that there was an opportunity to review its purpose and structure to generate a cross-sectoral Rapid Response Team. A proposal for such a team could be put before the National Biosecurity Committee for consideration.
EPPRD signatories meeting
Dr Susanna Driessen, General Manager Emergency Response and Preparedness at PHA, guided discussions on EPPRD related matters, including proposed changes to PLANTPLAN and supporting documentation.
Members voted to admit the Australian Melon Association as a new signatory to the EPPRD, and Sallianne Faulkner signed the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed on behalf of Hazelnut Growers of Australia.
Fiona Macbeth from Blackwood and Kemp Pty Ltd, an independent contractor undertaking the 5-year review of the EPPRD, facilitated a workshop on the purpose, methodology and key findings from the EPPRD review, which commenced in August 2015. The workshop highlighted areas of concern related to the Consultative Committee on Emergency Plant Pests and the National Management Group, maintaining corporate knowledge of the EPPRD within their organisations, the development of a response plan and its management, cost-benefit analysis, the principles of cost-sharing and funding a response, and financial management and accounting.
Members were reminded about Biosecurity Online Training (BOLT) modules on the PHA site, including a new module about the Consultative Committee for Emergency Plant Pests and the National Management Group.
15th Annual General Meeting
The gathering ended with the 15th Annual General Meeting of members, which included the presentation of the Plant Health Australia Annual Report 2015; progress towards meeting the objectives in the 2015-16 Annual Operational Plan; the budget forecast for 2015-16; the Chairman’s Address; and the appointment of new directors.
Thank you to all members who attended the meetings.