National Forest Pest Surveillance Program

Safeguarding our forests

Overseas pests, global travel and trade have led to new pest establishments threatening Australia’s forests and urban trees.


  • losing our iconic gum trees or wattles
  • our city streets and parks with sick and dying trees
  • having to import our timber unsustainably from overseas.

Plant Health Australia is working with governments, industry and community to establish a National Forest Pest Surveillance Program to mitigate the environmental, social and economic risks that the entry of exotic pests poses to forests.

Native forests Urban plantings Plantations

Establishing a forest surveillance program

A National Forest Pest Surveillance Program will involve the following.

Sustainable partnerships

  • Australian Government
  • states and territory governments
  • forest and timber sector
  • community stakeholders

Stakeholder governance

A National Forest Biosecurity Steering Group (NFBSG) made up of major stakeholder partners.

Independent management

Managed by Plant Health Australia through a National Forest Biosecurity Coordinator.

Pathway risk analyses

Australian Government and state data used to model and identify points of highest risk for entry or establishment of exotic forest and tree pests.

Surveillance in high-risk areas

Maximises early detection and eradication of exotic pests at high-risk sites for entry or establishment such as ports, airports, import facilities, botanic gardens and tourist attractions.

Forest and tree health monitoring and reporting

Assists with the monitoring and reporting of established pests, for the early detection of exotic pests and proof of area freedom from pest.

Diagnostic, training and data support

Program participants provided with the diagnostic, training and data infrastructure required to support surveillance and pest reporting activities.

What can we gain by implementing this program?

  • Reduced risk of exotic pest entry and establishment
  • Improved chances of early detection and eradication
  • Enhanced national forest pest surveillance capacity and capability
  • Nationally coordinated information and training available
  • Biodiversity and ecosystem resilience maintained
  • Maintained or increased amenity and economic values across stakeholders
  • Reduced economic risks to Australia’s $22B/year forest sector and 70,000 employees
  • Increased sharing of responsibility for biosecurity across all stakeholders
  • Ongoing savings through avoidance of new pest management costs
  • Reduced costs for surveillance and R&D activities for each stakeholder through a partnership approach.

Related documents

Framework for National Biosecurity Surveillance for Exotic Forest Pests

National Forest Biosecurity Surveillance Strategy

National Forest Biosecurity Surveillance Strategy Implementation Plan


National Forest Biosecurity Coordinator, Francisco (Paco) Tovar