Board Meeting 109

January 13, 2023

The Plant Health Australia (PHA) Board met Thursday 1 December 2022 at the PHA offices for Board Meeting 109. The meeting had the full attendance of the PHA Board, as well as Chief Executive Officer, Sarah Corcoran, Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary, Michael Milne and Jessica Arnold, National Manager Risk and Resilience.

The Board also met with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), Deputy Secretary, Biosecurity and Compliance, Dr Chris Locke, who presented the Commonwealth Department’s priorities. The Board noted Dr Locke’s observations regarding the value of the Deed as a key asset to maintain, the importance of financial sustainability across the national biosecurity system and National Biosecurity Strategy considerations for the May 2023 federal budget.

The Board meeting agenda included discussions on strategic issues, a review of financial reports, risk management plans and policy, Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed (EPPRD) management and compliance and the endorsement of the development framework for the 2023-24 Annual Operational Plan. The Board also congratulated the CEO on the professional look and feel of the Annual Report and the new aptly named PHA intranet ‘The Stomata.’ Designed to connect staff, facilitate the exchange of information and enhance cross-functional collaboration, the intranet delivers efficiencies in how we communicate internally, assists delivery of our strategic priorities and reinforces organisational values. The Board also noted a new MoU with the Australian National University for a science internship program that will create a pipeline for careers in plant biosecurity.

The Board also discussed a number of other issues impacting PHA members including;

  • potential opportunities for plant biosecurity within the May 2023 budget
  • transition of the TR4 management program in far North Queensland to industry
  • implementation of the EPPRD variations endorsed in October 2022
  • business continuity of pollination-reliant industries, domestic hive movement regulations and domestic market access
  • progress of the Banana Freckle response in the Northern Territory and the approval of the Response Plan for the eradication of Polyphagous shot-hole borer in Western Australia.

Overall, Board Meeting 109 was a productive and successful meeting with Board Meeting 110 scheduled for 27 February 2023 in Brisbane, Queensland.