Plant Biosecurity is a global issue. Harmful plant pests and diseases can impact on our unique environment and biodiversity, food safety, agricultural trade and market access.
Australia is relatively free from many of the plant pests and diseases which seriously impact on agricultural industries and the environment in other countries. Through the absence of many pests and diseases commonly found overseas, our natural environment is protected and Australia’s plant industries have a valuable competitive advantage and insurance policy.
If these pests found their way into Australia, the economic viability of Australia’s plant industries (with a crop production value of $14 billion in exports and $8 billion in domestic markets) would be directly threatened. Even the perception of pests in Australian produce would have a rapid and negative impact on Australia’s reputation as a producer of safe, quality food products.
Early detection of pests and diseases saves taxpayers millions of dollars in eradication and management. But as more people travel and more cargo is shipped around the world, and as the climate changes Australia’s biosecurity shield is under increasing pressure.