Message from the CEO August 2021

August 20, 2021

The last few weeks have certainly brought about rapid developments in the biosecurity sphere with the detection of American serpentine leaf miner in the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula area, sparking further surveillance efforts across northern Australia, eradication of Varroa mite from Townsville, Queensland and numerous states and territories entering and extending their Covid-19 lockdowns.

These developments demonstrate how hard the prevention, detection, response and recovery mechanisms in our biosecurity system have to continuously work to build resilient communities and support the sustainability, profitability and competitiveness of our agriculture industry.

The greatly reduced number of live brown marmorated stink bugs intercepted at biosecurity entry points, trialling of the Biosecurity Automated Threat Detection System at the Port of Brisbane and the new sea container measures for khapra beetle risk countries, are but a few of the recent initiatives implemented to keep Australia’s biosecurity system world-class.

With climate change facilitating the move of pest and diseases into new areas, this month we celebrated National Tree Day and the importance and positive impact of tree planting on climate change. This week we celebrated National Science Week and used the opportunity to raise awareness of how we and our members use science to enhance plant health, support market access and safeguard the future of plant industries.

Last month, we grew our social media presence with the launch of our Facebook page providing a new channel to help increase our audience reach, encourage engagement with our networks and provide topical plant biosecurity content. As a member-based organisation, we welcome your news. Feel free to email [email protected] with your content contributions. Follow and like our page for the latest plant biosecurity news, events and updates and share our content on your own channels.

In light of the current Covid-19 restrictions the Rural Women’s Awards has been postponed to Wednesday 20 October 2021 and moved to an online event. Further details of the online event will be released by AgriFutures closer to the time. In just over two weeks, on Monday 6 September at 2pm, the National Fruit Fly Council is hosting a ‘Predictive Modelling and Forecasting of Fruit Flies in Australia Project’ webinar.’ Led by DAWE, this webinar is an open session and will include an overview of the project and will provide an opportunity to explore and develop innovative tools and techniques to support Australia’s trade environment.

For those fortunate enough not to be impacted by Covid-19 restrictions and attending field days, remember these events can provide the perfect opportunity to spread unwanted plant pests. Follow our top 10 handy tips for field days to manage the risk and keep your event safe.

Sarah Corcoran
CEO, Plant Health Australia