Importance of plant biosecurity acknowledged in this year’s Rural Women’s Awards

September 16, 2016

The importance of plant biosecurity received a welcome boost this year with Dr Jessica Lye, biosecurity officer for vegetables and potatoes at AUSVEG, winning the Rural Women’s Award for Victoria, as part of the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation’s national women’s awards.

Greg Fraser, Executive Director and CEO of PHA, said that it was pleasing that the significance of Dr Lye’s work boosting plant biosecurity for one of Australia’s leading horticultural industries had been acknowledged by the independent judging panel.

“The Award acknowledges the fundamental importance of plant biosecurity practices in keeping our plant production industries sustainable in the face of exotic pest threats,” Mr Fraser said.

“Keeping pests out of individual farms, regions, states and the country as a whole is vital for ongoing viability.”

PHA has identified over 380 high priority pests that exist overseas, each of which would cause serious damage to crops in Australia should they make it into our orchards, plantations and fields.

Biosecurity measures are needed not just at the border, but also pre-border and within Australia – in regions and on individual farms.

Having seen first hand how communities and industries are affected by biosecurity threats, Dr Lye is keen to help provide the information needed to understand and prepare for threats, and provide practical ways to prevent pests, diseases and weeds entering farms in the first place. She has focussed on growers who come from non-English speaking backgrounds.

PHA congratulates Dr Lye, along with all regional winners and the national winner of the award, Sophie Hansen.