Biosecurity incursions are one of Queensland agriculture’s greatest business risks with exotic pests, diseases and weeds having a potentially crippling impact on plant and animal production systems across the state. Australia’s island status protects the country from exotic pests and diseases to a certain extent. But as the movement of people and goods around the globe increases this advantage is rapidly being lost. As Australia’s frontline biosecurity state, it critical that Queensland does everything that it can to ensure a robust, adaptive and effective biosecurity system is in place.
Agriculture continues to play its part by limiting the impact of exotic incursions and fulfilling its post border prevention and management obligations to ensure Queensland’s economy, environment, health and way of life is not adversely impacted. This week, Nursery & Garden Industry Australia (NGIA) with government support launched its comprehensive on-farm biosecurity program. ‘BioSecure HACCP’, a holistic plant pest, disease and weed management system is being implemented in Queensland’s production nurseries.
As a production system moving and supplying high volumes of plants throughout local regions, states and the nation, growers of nursery stock are open to significant biosecurity risks, threats and costs. To manage this risk, the industry has invested nearly $750,000 over the last 10 years to deliver biosecurity resources, including this BioSecure HACCP.
A first of its kind in the Queensland nursery and garden industry, the program will reduce endemic pest pressure, crop losses and chemical treatments in the cropping system, support early detection and management of emergency plant pests as well as decrease the likelihood of moving contaminated plant consignments. It will also protect an industry worth more than $900 million annually to the state economy employing over 6,000 people in more than 2,000 small to medium sized businesses.
QFF has consistently advocated for Queensland to have a robust and rigorous biosecurity system that has the capability and capacity to prevent the introduction of exotic pests, diseases and weeds. Through government and industry partnership like BioSecure HACCP, biosecurity in Queensland can improve and deliver higher quality outcomes that realise economic efficiencies and maintain our relative pest, disease and weed freedom.