Forest pest surveillance in the spotlight at forums being held across Australia

August 15, 2019

Following successful meetings in Adelaide, Perth and most recently Canberra, forums to consult on establishing a National Forest Pest Surveillance Program will be held in all other Australian capital cities in September.

The Canberra forum held in early August brought together ACT and Australian Government stakeholders to discuss the biosecurity risks that threaten urban trees, native forests and forest plantations.

The meeting was attended and opened by Chief Environmental Biosecurity Officer Ian Thompson. In his opening remarks he highlighted the potential impacts that environmental pests which affect forests could have on the economy, environment and our communities.

National Forest Biosecurity Coordinator, Paco Tovar, then outlined the proposed program to mitigate the risks posed by exotic forest pests.

“The national program is a coordinated risk-based approach to managing biosecurity threats to Australia’s forests,” said Paco

“Our aim is to protect the millions of dollars of tree assets within our forests, woodlands, plantations and urban areas.”

Following his presentation, Paco said attendees workshopped possible contributions that forest stakeholders could make to a future national program regarding surveillance, diagnostics and engagement activities.

“These forums have been a great way of bringing everyone together to learn about the program, provide feedback on the proposed program, and identify possible collaboration opportunities,” Paco shared.

“We have now set the dates for forums in the remaining states and territories, and I would encourage anyone interested in attending to send us an email.”

During September forums will be held in:

  • Hobart (3 September)
  • Sydney (6 September)
  • Melbourne (9 September)
  • Brisbane (24 September)
  • Darwin (27 September).

Please email if you would like more information or to register your interest in attending a forum.

Acknowledgement: This program is made possible by the Department of Agriculture through funds from the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper and the Australian Forest Products Association.