NPBSS – Executive Summary

The National Plant Biosecurity Surveillance Strategy (the strategy) provides a framework to strengthen Australia’s plant health surveillance system. It is one of several strategies that supports the broader national biosecurity system through its alignment with the Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity (IGAB) and the National Plant Biosecurity Strategy (NPBS).

The strategy’s vision is that by 2031 the plant health surveillance system protects Australia’s plant industries, economy, environment and community through the improved detection and knowledge of plant pest and weed status. Achieving this shared vision requires collective effort nationally to ensure the people, infrastructure, standards and tools used deliver the highest-quality surveillance activities.

The 2021-2031 strategy is based around six interconnected goals shown below. Each goal is supported by a series of actions that will guide and support national policy relating to the delivery of plant health surveillance activities and inform investment in research, development and extension. The actions can also be used to guide state/territory, regional and local efforts or efforts by individual governments, plant industries and stakeholder groups.

Goal 1: Stronger regional, national and international connections.
Goal 2: Enhanced and improved capability for an effective surveillance system.
Goal 3: Barriers to surveillance and reporting identified and removed.
Goal 4: Increased adoption of innovative tools, technologies and approaches.
Goal 5: Risk-based surveillance systems and processes developed and maintained.
Goal 6: Improved information standards, analyses and infrastructure.

The 2021-2031 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.

The 2021-2031 strategy is preceded by the 2013-2020 strategy. That strategy played a key role guiding activities to support improvements to the national plant health surveillance system. Some of the key achievements of the 2013-2020 strategy include:

  • Implementation of the Plant Surveillance Network Australasia-Pacific (PSNAP) to provide a mechanism for surveillance stakeholders in plant industries and government to connect and share surveillance information.
  • Development of the national data aggregation system, AUSPestCheck™, to assist, connect and coordinate surveillance data systems across Australia.
  • Development of National Minimum Dataset Specifications and Pest Record Specifications to promote consistency in data collected through surveillance.

The 2021-2031 strategy seeks to build upon the achievements and momentum of the 2013-2020 strategy and provide continued benefits for the broader national biosecurity system through the following outcomes:

  • A cooperative and collaborative national approach to surveillance driven by partnerships.
  • Skilled people are available to support surveillance.
  • Improved awareness of biosecurity risks and participation in surveillance by plant industries, environmental groups and the community.
  • More effective technologies and approaches to detect plant pests and weeds.
  • Greater confidence in the information generated from surveillance activities.
  • Robust and credible information on Australia’s plant health and plant pest status.

The successful implementation of the 2021-2031 strategy will support surveillance practitioners in implementing best practice surveillance and ensure that Australia’s plant health surveillance system is effective into the future. It will also result in an improved national plant biosecurity system that will manage risks to Australia’s plant industries, environment and community while supporting trade and market access.