Part 2 in a series of Plant Health Australia (PHA) articles focuses on tackling emergency plant pest threats.
Protecting livelihoods and lifestyles
The Nut industry’s Biosecurity Plan is the blueprint to ensuring the best possible protection for your orchard and crop against new plant pests. Developed by Australian Nut Industry Council (ANIC) in conjunction with Plant Health Australia (PHA) and the Federal, state and territory governments, the plan is a comprehensive action plan, covering: How we guard against exotic pests; Which are the exotic pests that pose the greatest threat to industry; and How we will deal with exotic pests if they are found. We are more and more at risk from exotic pests that could severely impact our growers’ businesses. Working closely with government experts and PHA, we have developed a world-class plan. It’s not a
A rigorous process involving experts in the field and investigations overseas has generated our list of the greatest risks. We examined: How easy it would be for each pest to get into Australia, spread and become established. If an exotic pest became established here, how bad would the impact be on productivity, profits, quarantine, trade and the community? And lastly, how difficult (and costly) it would be to control or eradicate. Our target list is regularly reviewed and updated – and everyone involved kept informed.
crop’) are entitled to claim certain expenses and also the agreed value of the crop destroyed. For the first time, there is certainty, not only on how we react when an outbreak occurs, but also on how our growers will be reimbursed. Of course there are conditions and limits, but it is much better than the uncertainty that existed previously. Having signed the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed we, the industry, are part of the decision process at every step. What needs to be done? Our industry must play its part, not only in responding to an incursion, but in actively trying to prevent one. “Governments have agreed to support industries with resources and expertise, but only if industries do their bit too”, says Julie Haslett. “Everyone has a responsibility, especially growers. They are in the best position to spot an outbreak early, and report it. By working together we have the best chance of protecting our industry, the community, our orchards and our livelihoods” she said.
If an outbreak occurs How we all respond when an exotic pest incursion occurs is another part
guarantee, but if we all play our part, it will give us the best possible protection. It is the first step towards being prepared to deal with such threats”.
of our Plan. Everyone has their part to play – growers, industry associations and government departments. Julie Haslett says, “In the
“This plan is a first for Almonds and absolutely critical to our future viability .”
- Julie Haslett CEO
past, before we had this agreed plan, we’d be working it out as we go. And that’s definitely not the way to manage a crisis. Now, everyone knows who does what, and it’s centrally co-ordinated”. Supporting affected growers Growers often ask, what if my farm is affected? What if my orchard or crop has to be destroyed? This too is covered by the Biosecurity Plan and a separate legal agreement between ABA and the federal and all state/territory governments (known as the Emergency Pest Plant Deed). In the event of a declared incursion and formal response (as described in the Deed), growers (or ‘Owners of the
What is ‘Biosecurity’? In plain English, biosecurity is everything we do to protect our orchards and crop from damage by exotic pests. Australia’s geographic isolation has meant we have been relatively free of many pests that have wrought havoc on some industries overseas. This is a real trade benefit for us (both overseas and interstate) in terms of securing market access. And that’s good for our image and growers pockets. So good biosecurity means we can keep it that way. The chart in Figure 1 illustrates the key components of our Biosecurity Plan. Which Pests? Of course, it is critical that we are preventing (and prepared for) exotic pests which pose the greatest threat.