Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan has welcomed the release of the National Biosecurity Strategy, which aims to build a stronger, more connected approach to national biosecurity.
The strategy was developed in consultation with all States and Territories, and overseen by the National Biosecurity Committee.
It builds on existing strategies and plans, and the work already being done across Australia by government, industry and the community on exotic and established pests, weeds and diseases, including zoonotic diseases.
The strategy will help to support Western Australia’s strong biosecurity system, which is critical to growing the State’s economy and regions by protecting WA’s $11 billion agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries industries, and natural resources.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development led the Western Australian input into the development of the strategy which focuses on six priority areas – understanding everyone’s role in biosecurity, strengthening partnerships and networks, building workforce capability and capacity to respond, a co-ordinated approach to preparedness and response, future investment in biosecurity priorities, and creating a science-based system to support research and decision making.
Next steps will include development of a national implementation plan to identify initial actions and guide future planning. This will also inform and assist WA in its own planning and biosecurity strategies.
As stated by Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
“The release of the National Biosecurity Strategy is timely as we all work together to focus on the emerging threats of foot-and-mouth disease and lumpy skin disease to Australia.
“It provides us with a great opportunity to build on the solid foundations we have in Western Australia and drive a collaborative approach to biosecurity at local, regional, national and international levels.
“The McGowan Government invest considerably into the State’s biosecurity system, with an additional boost of $15 million in 2021-22 to support emergency preparedness, enhance early warning and detection systems, and ensure we have the capacity to respond.
“Continuing to strengthen our biosecurity system is vital to protecting our primary industries, the environment and our communities, as we manage the increase in emerging pest and disease threats.”