Biosecurity refreshed

BIOSECURITY operations within Tasmania have been given a refresh in the midst of significant threats to the state from national and international pests and diseases.

The Biosecurity Operational Plan is a joint-venture operation between the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) and the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania (NRE Tas) which sets out how TIA and NRE Tas will work together to prepare for and manage biosecurity emergencies and enhance the protection in Tasmania.

Announced at Agfest last week by Primary Industries and Water Minister Jo Palmer, the plan formalises how each organisation will work cooperatively with a common purpose and direction during future biosecurity emergencies.

TIA Professor Michael Rose said TIA was supportive of an integrated biosecurity system that builds biosecurity capacity to protect Tasmania’s primary industries and environment.

“This biosecurity operational plan formalises the relationship with the state so that we all know what our responsibilities are and it kind of sets it all on a very firm footing,” Dr Rose said.

“The operational plan requires that the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture maintains a basic level of ability with regard to biosecurity in terms of our infrastructure and people and the training of our people”

“It also means that we will be proactive so that we will work with NRA Tas to develop projects that will further protect Tasmania.

Obviously various pests and diseases are very front and centre of our mind at the moment”

“Not just foot and mouth disease and lumpy skin disease, there’s been an incursion of varroa mite.”

“But there’s a whole smorgasbord of other diseases, other weeds and other pests that potentially can cause a great deal of havoc to Tasmanian agriculture and our natural environment as well.

“We really need to work hard to keep our eye on the ball and really ensure that these don’t get in and to work rapidly if they ever do.”

To learn more about what you can do to protect Tasmania from weeds, pest and diseases, visit: au/biosecurity.