Having a good Biosecurity plan for managing risks in our industry is a critical part of good governance in modern horticulture.
Australia’s biosecurity system is a joint collaborative effort between federal and state governments and each industry. It is a continual process involving activities offshore, at the border and onshore.
Plant Health Australia (PHA) plays a key role in the process. PHA is the custodian of the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed (EPPRD) which is a legally binding agreement between PHA, the Australian Government, all state and territory governments and national plant industry body signatories.
After a lengthy consultation period, Passionfruit Australia Inc has now become a signatory to the EPPRD (the Deed) on behalf of the whole industry. Why? The bottom line is that whether we signed the Deed or not, we would still be liable to pay costs if there were to be an incursion of a pest affecting passionfruit. If we do not sign the Deed, we do not have a seat at the table which decides how and when a pest incursion gets tackled. Its that simple.
Fall armyworm poses a threat to Australia’s agricultural industries.
Damage caused by fall armyworm can reduce plant growth, significantly reduce crop yield and cause plant death. Severe infestations can destroy crops rapidly.
Since fall armyworm can also graze on some pasture species, our environment may also be impacted.
Find out more about this invasive pest that is now found in Australia.
The Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed (EPPRD)
This is a formal legally binding agreement between PHA, the Australian Government, all state and territory governments and national plant industry body signatories. It covers the management and funding of responses to emergency plant pest (EPP) incidents, including the potential for owner reimbursement costs for growers. It also formalises the role of plant industries’ participation in decision making, as well as their contribution towards the costs related to approved responses.
The ratification of the EPPRD in 2005 significantly increased Australia’s capacity to respond to emergency plant pest incursions. The key advantage of the EPPRD is more timely, effective and efficient response to plant pest incursions, while minimising uncertainty over management and funding arrangements. Other significant benefits include:
- potential liabilities are known and funding mechanisms are agreed in advance
- industry is directly involved in decision making about mounting and managing an emergency plant pest response from the outset
- a consistent and agreed national approach for managing incursions
- wider commitment to risk mitigation by all parties through the development and implementation of biosecurity strategies and programs
- motivation and rationale to maintain a reserve of trained personnel and technical expertise
provision of accountability and transparency to all parties.