Message from the CEO – July 2022

  • Message from the CEO – July 2022 image

The first six months of 2022 has certainly been jam packed with activity. As we enter the next six months and our new financial year, I really look forward to refocusing and building on our existing activities to support our three strategic priorities under our new five year strategic plan. The 2022-23 Annual Operational Plan details our portfolio of work for the next 12 months to ensure we strengthen the plant biosecurity system for the benefit of the economy, environment and community.

Good biosecurity means good food security and we all know impacts from weather events can impact the availability of crops – as we’ve seen with the recent vegetable shortages. The detection of banana freckle in the Northern Territory, Panama TR4 in Queensland, Myrtle rust in Western Australia and Varroa mite in New South Wales continues to put additional pressure on our biosecurity system as well as those industries that rely on honey bees for pollination. These detections demonstrate the importance of good biosecurity practices to reduce the risk of pests and diseases from spreading; regular surveillance an early-warning system and the value of reporting.

On a positive note, we’re encouraged by the bumper harvest forecasted by Cotton Australia, the 20 per cent increase in farm biosecurity management plans reported by NSW government and the enhanced market access for the citrus industry reported by ABARES.

Last month we welcomed Murray Watt as the new Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Minister for Emergency Management. Congratulations to Andrew Metcalfe on his appointment as Secretary of the newly re-named Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

PHA has a long history in emergency plant biosecurity responses and we look forward to exploring more opportunities for us to assist with building biosecurity resilience and recovery.