NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has released the inaugural NSW State of Biosecurity Report, which assesses the status of biosecurity in NSW and highlights progress in achieving the objectives of the NSW Biosecurity Strategy (2013-2021).
DPI Deputy Director General Biosecurity & Food Safety Bruce Christie said everyone in NSW had a role to play in managing and mitigating biosecurity risks.
“The NSW Biosecurity Strategy 2013-2021 promotes the concept of biosecurity as a shared responsibility, where the government, industry and the people of NSW work together to protect our economy, environment and the community,” he said.
“This inaugural report reflects on the State’s achievements, including the Biosecurity Act 2015 which brought together all or part of 14 different Acts to streamline and simplify the way biosecurity risks are managed and outcomes are achieved in NSW, and took effect on 1 July 2017.
“It shows that between 2008 and 2017 there were 24 national biosecurity plant and animal disease and pest incident responses costing $526 million, with the related costs shared with the Commonwealth and other states and territories under the national biosecurity deeds.
“In terms of human health, the report looks at the work of NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) with partners in NSW Health and Local Land Services to monitor and track, identify and contain infectious zoonotic diseases.
“Several of these diseases are endemic to NSW including hendra, anthrax, the Australian bat lyssavirus and Q Fever, with 225 cases of Q Fever detected in NSW in 2016, incidences of which have dropped since the 1990’s.”
Good biosecurity practices benefit business through increased access to premium markets around the globe, improved efficiencies and yield and decreased costs of production. Biosecurity benefits our environment and community through supply of healthy safe food; recreational access to the State’s natural resources, minimising the risk to native flora and fauna and protection of assets and infrastructure.
NSW DPI works with the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Local Land Services, Local Government, the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and industry to coordinate, promote and participate in surveillance activities at state, national, regional and local levels.
Active surveillance programs are in place for animal and plant pests and diseases, aquatic pests and diseases, invasive weeds, pests and animals.
“This inaugural report shows that be it animal and plant pests, diseases or weeds, risks to biosecurity are increasing in part as a result of climate change and increasing trade and travel movements,” Mr Christie said.
“It is the constant vigilance of the entire community in partnership, alongside innovative technologies and programs which protect our community, and we will continue to review our systems, policies and strategies to ensure we are equipped to meet the future challenges and harness opportunities with our stakeholders and partners.”
To read the full report, go to https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/biosecurity/biosecurity-legislation/nsw-state-of-biosecurity-report