NPBS – Executive Summary

The National Plant Biosecurity Strategy (strategy) provides a national framework to strengthen Australia’s plant biosecurity system. It sets the focus and strategic direction for plant biosecurity activities, and drives the way for effective collaboration and action by all participants, including governments, plant industries and the community.

The strategy’s vision for 2031 is a resilient and contemporary national plant biosecurity system that supports Australia’s plant industries, economy, environment and communities. Achieving this shared vision requires collective effort nationally that ensures the people, resources, tools and systems are in place to facilitate the reforms and address the most important priorities for the system.

The strategy is based around four interconnected strategic priorities shown below. Each priority is supported by a series of actions that will guide and support national policy and inform investment across all aspects of the system. The actions can also be used to guide state/territory, regional and local efforts or efforts by individual governments, plant industries and stakeholder groups.

Strategic Priority 1: Stronger together

Strategic Priority 2: Sustained support

Strategic Priority 3: Future ready toolkit

Strategic Priority 4: Impact through innovation

The strategy applies to plant pests and weeds that impact Australia’s plant industries, environment and community. For the purpose of the strategy, plant pests are defined as any species, strain or biotype of invertebrate or pathogen injurious to plants, plant products or bees. The application of the strategy to weeds covers exotic weed species and declared weed species not known to be established in a particular jurisdiction.

This strategy is preceded by the 2010-2020 National Plant Biosecurity Strategy. The 2010-2020 strategy recognised the importance of working together to respond to current and future biosecurity challenges, and played a key role guiding activities to support improvements to Australia’s plant biosecurity system. It helped deliver a system vital to supporting our way of life where:

  • The rapid and accurate diagnosis of potential plant pests is carried out using a sophisticated nationally integrated diagnostic network.
  • The capacity and skills of people to prepare for potential plant biosecurity incidents is enhanced through various training and professional development activities.
  • A range of digital resources are available and routinely used to prevent, identify and respond to plant biosecurity incidents.
  • Various software and technology platforms are in place to manage the collection, collation and analysis of plant biosecurity information.

This strategy builds upon the achievements and momentum of these previous actions and successes to provide continued benefits for the national plant biosecurity system. The realisation of these benefits have never been more important given the biosecurity challenges and opportunities that will be faced in a constantly changing environment.

Through its alignment with the Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity (IGAB)[1] and links to other key strategies and plans that will support implementation, this strategy is a framework to ensure the national plant biosecurity system continues to manage risks to Australia’s plant industries, environment and community while supporting trade and market access.

[1] The current version of the agreement was ratified in January 2019 and replaced the previous IGAB which came into effect in 2012.