Summit targets on-farm biosecurity

  • Summit targets on-farm biosecurity image

More than 60 representatives of agriculture industry peak bodies registered to attend a Queensland-first biosecurity summit specifically targeting on-farm biosecurity.

The summit, held at Brisbane’s RNA Showgrounds Tuesday 11 July 2023, sought to bring together plant and animal peak industry bodies to discuss how best to encourage the uptake of good biosecurity practices and planning.

The summit’s agenda provided a deep dive into learnings and knowledge to develop and improve current and future on-farm biosecurity practices.

Workshops at the summit focused on resourcing, information and education across the system.

Key outcomes of the summit included deepening the connection between industry and peak bodies to implement successful approaches to biosecurity issues and the identification of gaps in the current system requiring a coordinated response between government and peak bodies.

Queensland Chief Biosecurity Officer Rachel Chay said the summit is part of the Queensland Government’s commitment to working with our industry partners to improve our biosecurity system.

“The Government has partnered with AgForce Queensland, Plant Health Australia (PHA), and Animal Health Australia (AHA) to convene this summit which has been funded as part of the Government’s $22M investment in biosecurity preparedness.

“Good on-farm biosecurity is one of the best protection measures when it comes to biosecurity threats, but it needs to be a system-wide approach,” Dr Chay said.

“Protecting the agriculture sector is a priority, and the summit provides a platform to explore ways to improve on-farm biosecurity through innovation and advancement.

“The Government is proud to be leading the way with this summit which our partners see as a potential model for similar forums in other states.”

AgForce Queensland General President Georgie Somerset said AgForce recognises its members play a critical role in ensuring biosecurity is managed effectively.

“We are aware that our current biosecurity systems are not future fit, and that producers and communities can and should play a bigger role, and we are proud to be working with Biosecurity Queensland in the genuine co-design of a step change,” she said.

“This summit plays an important role in that work, and we look forward to working with the State Government and peak bodies to strengthen Queensland’s biosecurity system for many years to come.”

Animal Health Australia spokesperson Dr Ian McDonald said: “Along with our colleagues at PHA, we are really proud to partner with AgForce Queensland and Biosecurity Queensland to see this summit take shape and promote the important topic of best practice on-farm biosecurity practices.”

“At the summit, we promoted the use of the Farm Biosecurity program and website –, a joint initiative of PHA/AHA, as a great place where any farmer can go to develop an on-farm biosecurity plan tailored to their enterprise no matter how big or small”.

“We saw an increased use in our biosecurity resources in 2022 with the increased biosecurity threats at our doorstep, such as FMD in Indonesia, and we want to maintain this momentum and use of the product moving forward, and we don’t want to see biosecurity fall off the radar at all.”

Plant Health Australia CEO Sarah Corcoran said producers play a key role in protecting Australia’s plant and livestock industries from pests and diseases, and PHA is committed to helping producers reduce on-farm plant biosecurity risks.

“By implementing day-to-day biosecurity measures, producers will improve their biosecurity and that of their region, while minimising production losses and unnecessary costs,” she said.

“Our Farm Biosecurity Program website is a hub of information to help producers understand disease and pest risks, what they can do to reduce those risks, and how to go about it.

“The Farm Biosecurity Program is an important part of Australia’s emergency animal disease and exotic plant pest surveillance systems.

“Surveillance allows us to preserve existing trade opportunities and provides evidence of Australia’s pest and animal disease status to support access to international markets.”

Media contact: DAF Media,