Communiqué: Northern Australia Biosecurity Framework Reference Group

Thursday, 5 April 2018

The fifth meeting of the Northern Australia Biosecurity Framework Reference Group took place on 5 April 2018 in Sydney.

The meeting heard updates on projects which benefit farmers, communities and the environment across northern Australia including:

  • modern, more accurate and faster DNA/molecular technology that can be used in-the-field to detect whether insects are carrying diseases, for example, blue-tongue
  • new web-based and PC-based tools, for example, high-res images and ‘lucid keys’ to help accurately identify exotic pests
  • new, smarter data technology including underwater aquatic pest monitoring in the Torres Strait and systems to collect and share biosecurity data across Australia
  • the release of the Queensland Biosecurity Strategy 2018–2023
  • the successful eradication of banana freckle disease from the Northern Territory
  • Northern Territory Government work with animal, plant and aquatic industries to prepare for biosecurity emergencies
  • progress on the development of a new diagnostic laboratory in Darwin
  • work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ranger groups including aquatic biosecurity work in Western Australia
  • the first joint meeting of national plant diagnostic and surveillance expert committees
  • collaboration with botanical gardens around Australia, including in Cairns and Darwin, to manage biosecurity risks associated with up to 20million visitors each year  
  • the extension of the Significant Disease Investigations Network to encourage vets across northern Australia to submit more samples of potential biosecurity diseases for diagnosis
  • work by plant, animal and aquatic Industry Liaison Officers to increase biosecurity awareness, surveillance and prevention practices  
  • initiatives of the Office of Northern Australia, the Indigenous Reference Group and the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia which support agriculture and biosecurity
  • the availability of biosecurity information, including video and joint branding to promote biosecurity awareness across northern Australia.

Visit the Northern Australia Biosecurity Framework Reference Group webpage for more information.