Calls for national biosecurity strategy

Calls for national biosecurity strategy

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The inaugural Australian Biosecurity Symposium, co-hosted by Animal Health Australia, Invasive Species Council and the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions attracted more than 400 delegates on the Gold Coast.

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The inaugural Australian Biosecurity Symposium, co-hosted by Animal Health Australia, Invasive Species Council and the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions attracted more than 400 delegates on the Gold Coast.

The symposium focused on strategies to future-proof the nation's biosecurity system to better protect Australia's agricultural industry, iconic native plants and animals.

CISS ceo Andreas Glanznig said smarter actions were needed to future proof Australia's biosecurity system.

"By 2030 Australia will see a doubling of international passenger arrivals and containerised cargo traffic will increase 170 per cent to 2032. We need to work more collaboratively and smarter, with more efficient systems to keep future pests and diseases out," he said.

"Prevention is a key part of the solution and new techniques like environmental DNA surveillance, drone detection using thermal regulation, artificial intelligence and recognition are just some of the new innovations on the horizon which could be game changers for the biosecurity system if we strengthen efforts now."

AHA ceo Kathleen Plowman called for the development of a national biosecurity strategy and a long term sustainable biosecurity investment plan, as well as a national biosecurity partnership agreement, to mobilise all of Australian society.

"Biosecurity prevention is a shared responsibility but without a shared vision and authority it is difficult to bring everyone along for the ride," she said.

"We need clear signposts along the way, we need to plot our journey and we need to make sure we are all on the same path, to ensure the system is well-equipped for the future."

ISC Andrew Cox has asked for the community together and start a biosecurity movement.

"We want biosecurity to be top of mind and top of importance for all Australians, like the Landcare movement has been since it was formed in the 1990s," he said.

"There is growing awareness of biosecurity and now we want to take it further and build a mass movement of biosecurity champions across the country who take ownership of the problem and help keep our country free of new weeds, pests and diseases."

The 2nd Australian Biosecurity Symposium will be held in 2021 with a workshop to be held in 2020 to progress key outcomes from this year's Symposium.

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