National Plant Biosecurity Diagnostic Strategy

Timely diagnostic identification is critical in managing plant pest incursions. Diagnostic capacity is needed to support surveillance programs and to assist development of risk mitigation and pest control or eradication arrangements. Given the large number of identified emergency plant pests, it is important that work on these pests is nationally coordinated to ensure expertise is available when required, that diagnosis is timely and consistent, and that duplication is avoided.

PHA has already developed a list of the diagnostic status of all of Australia’s 348 high priority pests, as identified in PHA’s industry biosecurity plans and PHA’s Pest Information Document Database (PIDD). PHA was also part of a collaboration to develop a Plant Biosecurity Toolbox that provides detailed, web-based diagnostic information to assist with the rapid identification of exotic plant pests and diseases in the event of an incursion.

The National Plant Biosecurity Diagnostic Strategy 2021-2031 was developed to provide a framework framework to strengthen Australia’s plant biosecurity diagnostic system.

National Plant Pest Reference Collections Strategy 2018

National Plant Pest Reference Collections StrategyBiological collections are an essential part of the plant health system, facilitating plant product exports, underpinning emergency incursion responses, and ensuring exotic pests on imports do not damage local producers or the environment. The National Plant Pest Reference Collections Strategy 2018 aims to ensure that biological collections can continue to support Australia’s trade and biosecurity. The strategy recommends a diverse, dispersed system of reference collections with a similar diverse, dispersed system of information management and transfer.

The strategy addresses the following points:

  • the lack of verified specimens of many of the National Priority Plant Pests
  • the need to coordinate the plant health, trade and biosecurity functions of collections
  • the need for clear standards to prevent specimen deterioration
  • how to improve the exchange of information between collections
  • communication between collections and other parts of the plant health diagnostic system
  • support for collections.

 Surveys on diagnostic capacity and capabilities

Survey of requirements to maintain diagnostic protocolsWhat is required to ensure a sustainable diagnostic capability for emerging plant pests that threaten Australia? (Brendan Rodoni and Andrew Geering, 2007)

Presents the views of diagnosticians surveyed and provides critical baseline data from diagnostic laboratories from around Australia on the annual resources required to maintain a diagnostic manual for a plant pest or disease.
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Survey of people involved in plant insect and disease diagnosisAssessment of the current status of the human resources involved in diagnostics for plant insect and disease pests (Jane Moran and Ian Muirhead, 2002)

This report presents summarised results from a web based questionnaire that was circulated to government, university and private diagnostic centres across Australia. It considers the capability to diagnose insect and disease pests of agriculture and forestry in Australia. Broader environmental issues relating to native flora, which are also important, are not considered in depth.
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