Authorised officers trained to protect agriculture

Agriculture Victoria continues to improve its capability to respond to biosecurity and animal welfare threats, with 22 new Authorised Officers and Inspectors trained.

The new Authorised Officers and Inspectors cover a wide range of issues including animal biosecurity and animal welfare, plant biosecurity, weeds and pest animals, and agricultural and veterinary chemical use.

Of the 22 staff:

  • nine are based in south-west Victoria
  • five in northern Victoria
  • six in south-east Victoria
  • and two staff in statewide roles.

Biosecurity Operations Acting Program Manager Rachel Cairns said that the new Authorised Officers and Inspectors were an important addition to Agriculture Victoria’s resources to address issues day to day as well as in emergencies.

‘The training has been a comprehensive program to prepare staff for their roles where they work with industry and community to improve biosecurity and animal welfare outcomes,’ Ms Cairns said.

‘Responsibilities of Authorised Officers and Inspectors include working with livestock owners and landholders to manage weeds and pest animals, tag livestock, and inspect saleyards.

‘They also monitor for pests and diseases, issue certifications for produce, investigate agricultural and veterinary chemical use and alleged animal cruelty, as well as issue fines for non-compliance with laws that protect Victoria’s domestic and export markets.

‘The program introduces staff to the work of Agriculture Victoria, Victoria’s biosecurity and agriculture-related legislation, their duties and powers as Authorised Officers and Inspectors, safety, as well as other important aspects of operating in the Victorian Public Service, including human rights and integrity.’

The Authorised Officer training program is usually completed in-person, however due to restrictions in 2020, all training needed to be completed online, which was a first for the program.

The Agriculture Victoria Authorised Officer training program is supported by the Victorian Government’s $142.5 million investment to strengthen Victoria’s biosecurity system.

The program also aligns with the recently released Agriculture Strategy, through protecting and enhancing the future of agriculture by ensuring it is well-placed to respond to climate change, pests, weeds, diseases and increased resource scarcity.

Agriculture Victoria jobs are advertised on careers.vic.gov.au

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