Through a suite of industry-funded programs, we work with our Members to develop best practice solutions for preparedness, response and recovery and develop targeted communication, extension and training to reduce risk.

The aim of the National Bee Biosecurity Program is to help beekeepers to manage pests that are already in Australia, and to prepare for incursions by exotic pests.

Generally speaking, governments in Australia will focus on pre-border and biosecurity at the border, pest surveillance activities and emergency pest or disease incursions. The honey bee industry and individual beekeepers are responsible for managing established pests and checking for exotic pests.

As a result, the beekeeping industry has established a levy to pay for biosecurity activities and has developed a Code of Practice for all beekeepers to follow.

The National Bee Pest Surveillance Program is an early warning system to detect new incursions of exotic bee pests and pest bees. The program involves a range of surveillance methods conducted at sea and airports throughout Australia considered to be the most likely entry points for bee pests and pest bees.

The National Bee Pest Surveillance Program’s primary objective is to act as an early warning system to detect new incursions of exotic bee pests and pest bees. This greatly increases the possibility of eradicating an incursion and limits the scale and cost of an eradication program.

The program is jointly funded by the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council, Hort Innovation, Grain Producers Australia and DAFF. In-kind contributions for the implementation of the program are provided through each state and territory Department of Agriculture as well as volunteer beekeepers. At a national level, PHA coordinates and administers the program.

The Grains Farm Biosecurity Program (GFBP) is an initiative to improve the management of, and preparedness for, biosecurity risks in the grains industry at the farm and industry levels.

Launched in 2007, the program is managed by PHA and funded by growers through Grain Producers Australia together with the New South Wales, Queensland, South Australian, Victorian and Western Australian governments.

Grains Biosecurity Officers in these five states develop and deliver materials to raise awareness and training to growers, consultants and other industry stakeholders.

CitrusWatch is a collaborative, national program aimed at protecting Australian Citrus by improving industry preparedness for key exotic pest threats. From commercial citrus production zones to high-density urban landscapes, the program links government agencies, research programs, community groups, and citrus businesses through surveillance, research, training and education.

A collaboration between PHA, Citrus Australia, the Northern Territory Department of Industry Tourism and Trade, and Cesar Australia, the program supports a volunteer-based, exotic pest early detector network both within the citrus industry and throughout the general public, and provides access to training on the topics of biosecurity, exotic pest surveillance and identification.

The program aims to ensure that the Australian citrus industry is better equipped to minimise the entry and spread of high priority pests, such as Asian citrus psyllid, African citrus psyllid and diseases such as huánglóngbìng.

The National Fruit Fly Council (NFFC) is convened through PHA and brings together governments, growers and research funders to oversee implementation of the National Fruit Fly Strategy and to drive delivery of a cost-effective and sustainable approach to managing fruit flies across Australia.

The Council provides leadership and advice on strategic policy, research, development and extension issues around fruit fly, connecting with a range of stakeholders that include the National Biosecurity Committee, Plant Health Committee, Hort Innovation, industry and the community.

The role and functions of the Council are to:

  • Coordinate and provide leadership for fruit fly efforts across Australia, promoting a shared responsibility among key stakeholders for strengthening and harmonising the Australian fruit fly management system.
  • Develop and maintain the National Fruit Fly Strategy to present a contemporary view of the direction and key activities necessary to strengthen the capability, capacity and resilience of Australia’s fruit fly management system and for maximising outcomes from RD&E investments.
  • Oversee the implementation of the National Fruit Fly Strategy, including reviewing and reporting on progress to stakeholders.
  • Advise on the contribution of proposed fruit fly research to the advancement of the National Fruit Fly Strategy and engage with research groups to understand and stock take research activities.
  • Advise on strategic fruit fly management issues and activities, promoting consistency with international standards, minimisation of duplication, and support for Australia’s market access opportunities.
  • Engage with relevant industry, government, research and community stakeholders to develop positions that reflect the national interests in fruit fly management that are integrated into the national biosecurity system.
  • Promote the importance of fruit fly management through the NFFC Communications Strategy.
  • Report to the Plant Health Committee and Hort Innovation.

The annual Bee Pest Blitz (BPB) campaign aims to create awareness of exotic and established bee pests, the importance of hive inspections using nationally-agreed surveillance techniques and consistent record keeping and reporting of results. The campaign also aims to increase understanding of roles and responsibilities and the shared culture in biosecurity.

Annually during the Bee Pest Blitz month of April, all beekeepers are encouraged to inspect their hives and perform alcohol washes. By participating in Bee Pest Blitz, Australian Beekeepers will fulfil their bee biosecurity obligations and one of the two inspection requirements under the Australian Honey Bee Industry Biosecurity Code of Practice.

Bee Pest Blitz is a DAFF funded initiative, is led by PHA and supported by the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council and all state and territory governments.

The Forest Watch Australia program supports surveillance and training activities to enable the early detection of exotic pests that pose significant risks to our urban, natural and commercial forests. It involves:

Pathway risk analyses

Information and data on entry pathways into Australia is used to model and identify areas of highest risk for entry or establishment of exotic forest and tree pests.

Surveillance in high-risk areas

Surveillance around the high-risk areas, previously identified through pathways analysis, maximises opportunities for early detection of exotic pests. Such areas may include ports, airports, import facilities, botanic gardens and tourist attractions.

Capacity building – training the next generation of experts

Annual expert training workshops for surveillance staff delivering the program, aim to build and maintain expert-level knowledge in forest pest surveillance and diagnostics.

Enabling stakeholder participation

Training of tree stakeholders (for example local council staff, arborists, foresters) and community groups is designed to increase awareness of tree health pests and rates of pest reporting. This is achieved through:

The Farm Biosecurity Program (FBP) is a joint initiative of PHA and AHA on behalf of our Members.

The goal of the program is to help growers and producers reduce the risks posed by diseases, pests and weeds to their crops and livestock through good biosecurity practices.

The FBP website is a hub of farm biosecurity information and includes resources on a range of topics including:

  • crop and livestock specific information
  • templates for checklists, records and signs
  • animal health statements and declarations
  • biosecurity manuals
  • videos on the six biosecurity essentials
  • a farm biosecurity planner and app
  • links to member and other useful websites
  • biosecurity related news and events.

Led by PHA and funded by DAFF, work to develop the Nationally Integrated Surveillance System for Plant Pests (NISSPP) began in 2023 with a series of consultative workshops.

The NISSPP will provide an integrated national pest incursion surveillance and diagnostics system to help expand our national capacity to surveil and allocate resources to pest incursions. Work to identify stakeholders in the system, surveillance requirements, priorities and next steps is ongoing.

For an overview of NISSPP see the NISSPP Placemat. For more information see the NISSPP Summary Discussion Paper.