Message from the CEO – March 2022

  • Message from the CEO – March 2022 image

The floods in New South Wales and Queensland (QLD) in the second month of 2022 has certainly brought about a new set of challenges not only for producers but for communities living in the affected areas. The Australian Government has activated support for these flood-affected communities, producers and non-profit organisations with a range of disaster relief and recovery packages.

The QLD Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QDAF) has also launched a Natural Disaster Impact Survey, developed with industry input, to help assess biosecurity risks and the level of assistance required to support community recovery and speed up the assessment process. QLD producers can also report damage to the QDAF customer service centre on 13 25 23. The voluntary survey will help QDAF gain a better understanding of the extent of natural disasters affecting specific areas.

On a positive note, due to frosty temperatures at the beginning of the growing season and excessive rain in the middle, this year’s rice crop has the potential to be the biggest, best and healthiest in the past five years. Similarly, despite insufficient rain in some cotton growing regions and severe flooding in others, the second-biggest cotton crop on record is expected with 5.2 million bales forecasted.

The 2021-22 Mid-Year Performance Report (MYPR) reflects progress against our key performance areas and clearly demonstrates the commitment and flexibility of PHA staff in finding new ways of facilitating and driving partnerships to improve the plant biosecurity system.

As we look ahead to the next couple of months, work on the Annual Operational Plan (AOP) has commenced and this AOP will be the first one developed and delivered under our new five-year Strategic Plan. Invitations to register for our March AOP member webinar have been sent.

As face-to-face engagements recommence, we are looking forward to the Biosecurity Collective’s 2nd Australian Biosecurity Symposium and the Plant Biosecurity Research Symposium in May followed by the National Fruit Fly Council’s Interspecies Competition webinar in April. With so many upcoming events, we’ve developed a comprehensive events listing webpage to help you plan your networking and engagement opportunities for the rest of 2022.

Sarah Corcoran
CEO, Plant Health Australia