Industry surveillance strategies

Along with the National Plant Biosecurity Strategy and other major strategies, PHA works with governments and national plant industry organisations to develop industry-specific strategies. So far there have been strategies developed for citrus, forestry, grain, potatoes and tropical plants.

While Australia has a comprehensive biosecurity system, protecting the citrus industry from exotic pests remains a continual challenge. Effective pest surveillance maximises the likelihood of the early detection of new and emerging pests and provides data on pest distribution and pest absence to support trade.

The National Citrus Biosecurity Surveillance Strategy has been developed to provide a framework for national coordination and implementation of surveillance activities carried out by government and industry for exotic citrus pests and pests of market access concern.

The strategy outlines improved pre-border and border risk and pathway assessment to better understand and target surveillance efforts. For post-border surveillance, it describes an enhanced partnership approach of industry, government and community in a national program. Surveillance systems will be supported by diagnostic tools and triage networks, and data collection and reporting methods will enable surveillance efforts to be captured, monitored and improved.

Funding for the development of this strategy comes from the Australian Government’s Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, the government’s plan for stronger farmers and a stronger economy.

National Citrus Biosecurity Surveillance Strategy Implementation Plan

The principles of the National Citrus Biosecurity Surveillance Strategy are to maximise efficiencies of surveillance efforts by integrating and connecting surveillance amongst stakeholders. This integration will include development and use of diagnostic tools and triage networks, and surveillance which combines crop monitoring for established pests of production concern with surveillance for high priority exotic pests.

There are four program areas:

  1. Improved partnerships through coordination and collaboration
  2. Enhanced capability and capacity to undertake citrus biosecurity surveillance
  3. Smart surveillance through risk assessment, tools and diagnostics to support detection of citrus pests
  4. Improved capture and analysis of citrus pest surveillance data.

Nationally coordinated surveillance programs, supported by an effective diagnostic network, are needed to maximise the effectiveness and efficiency of detection of exotic forest pests, mitigate the risk of exotic forest pests establishing in Australia, and provide evidence to support claims of area freedom. Ensuring that forest stakeholders and government agencies work together in partnership is critical to achieving these aims.

The National Forest Biosecurity Surveillance Strategy is designed to complement and address aspects of the National Plant Biosecurity Strategy, the National Plant Biosecurity Surveillance Strategy and the National Plant Biosecurity Diagnostic Strategy for the forest biosecurity sector.

A series of goals and actions with defined outcomes are described to enable stakeholders to successfully establish a National Forest Pest Surveillance Program over five years.

Funding for the development of this strategy comes from the Australian Government’s Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, the government’s plan for stronger farmers and a stronger economy.

National Grain Biosecurity Surveillance Strategy has been developed, recognising that the operating environment affecting early detection and market access surveillance in the grain industry today is different to that of the past and is unlikely to be the same in the future.

The strategy has been developed in conjunction with industry to ensure it is effective and robust, yet flexible enough to adapt to emerging technologies and industry structures outside that of government, and is underpinned by core biosecurity capacity. The strategy will guide the implementation of national leadership, management and coordination of surveillance activities for high priority grain pests and pests of market access concern for the grain industry.

Specific actions and tasks are listed that will improve pre-border and border pest risk and pathway assessment by better understanding pest risk profiles and pathways and targeting surveillance efforts. For post-border surveillance, it describes an enhanced partnership approach between Grain Producers Australia, Plant Health Australia, the Grains Research and Development CorporationGrain Growers Ltd, bulk handlers, traders and Australian governments through a national surveillance program. This program is supported by enhanced diagnostic networks, practical training and reporting services to enable surveillance efforts to be captured, monitored and improved.

The strategy is comprised of four goals and ten actions which will form the basis of an implementation plan. These actions are interconnected, with the overall delivery of the strategy aiming to create a world class, innovative, science-based surveillance system that maximises the early detection of exotic grain pests and improves our international competitiveness through freedom from their impacts.

The National Potato Industry Biosecurity Surveillance Strategy 2020–25 (NPIBSS) provides a framework for peak potato industry bodies and governments to identify and coordinate national surveillance priorities and activities.

The strategy will support surveillance and ensure the potato industry is informed, resilient, engaged and globally competitive. Improving surveillance will provide valuable information to improve the response to exotic pest incursions, support domestic and international market access, and improve pest management.

Four interconnected goals, and their accompanying actions, form the basis of the strategy. The themes are:

  • collaboration and coordination
  • early detection
  • communication, awareness and training
  • industry growth and business resilience

Strategy implementation plan

The NPIBSS Implementation Plan 2020–25 details how the strategy will be implemented, including the importance of strong support from stakeholders, governance arrangements, and secure funding arrangements.

Implementation of the NPIBSS will improve engagement and communication, identify and reduce barriers to undertaking surveillance and reporting of new pests and promote national capture, sharing and consistency of surveillance data to improve efficiency in biosecurity management within and between industry and governments.

The long-term outcomes sought through this strategy are:

  • active support and participation of the potato industry in surveillance
  • skilled personnel who are available to support surveillance for key pest threats of the potato industry
  • improved decision making, support for crop health management and reduction in business risk.

Once implemented, this strategy will support these outcomes and facilitate the capture and collation of potato industry surveillance data nationally including regions, farms, urban and peri-urban areas.


PHA and AUSVEG wish to thank key stakeholders associated with the potato industry who shared their time, knowledge and viewpoints to make the strategy possible.

This strategy was funded by the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment through the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, the Australian Government’s plan for stronger farmers and a stronger economy.

The Tropical Plant Industries Biosecurity Surveillance Strategy 2020–25 (TPIBSS) was developed through a consultative process with industry and government. Information on government and industry surveillance, industry statistics and background information were compiled to inform the development of the strategy.

There are two parts:

  • The strategy, which provides an overview and includes the vision, outcomes, goals and actions. It also details the activities and tasks required to deliver the strategy’s outcomes and provides a timeframe for each task.
  • A background document (see below), which provides background information, industry statistics and surveillance activities.


The outcomes will be achieved through delivery against five goals:

  • Improve planning, prioritisation, preparedness and coordination for surveillance
  • Increase effective engagement, awareness and communication within and between stakeholders
  • Improve surveillance delivery
  • Ensure availability of future diagnostic services
  • Improve surveillance data capture, quality and access for stakeholders

TPIBSS Background information, industry statistics and surveillance activities

In addition to the strategy there’s also a background document that provides industry statistics and describes surveillance activities that are currently being undertaken by industries in the north by the Australian Government, and the governments of Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland.

Implementation of the strategy has commenced and is being guided by a steering committee comprising representatives of seven key industry groups, the three northern governments and the Australian Government. The steering committee is chaired by Greg Owens from NT Farmers.


The TPIBSS 2020–25 was prepared by James Walker – when on secondment to PHA from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment(DAWE) – Trevor Dunmall and Sharyn Taylor (PHA). It was funded by DAWE through the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, the Australian Government’s plan for stronger farmers and a stronger economy.

The strategy was developed following a series of workshops, meetings and discussions with numerous stakeholders, who are listed and acknowledged  in the document.