Project Leader, Organisation

Geoff Pegg, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

Status

ACTIVE

Background

Exotic pests threaten cultural and environmental biodiversity values unique to Australia. Myrtle Rust is the second significant plant pathogen to invade the native environment in Australia and several reviews have highlighted serious gaps relating to Australia’s environmental biosecurity. The Australian Government has responsibility for maintaining World Heritage values of Fraser Island (K’gari) under the World Heritage Convention ensuring biosecurity risks, including MR, are identified and managed effectively. This project addresses aspects of this, developing and delivering environmental biosecurity awareness and surveillance training and MR identification and assessment methods and reporting to protect outstanding values of World Heritage Fraser Island.

Objectives and impact

This project aims to increase the capacity of Traditional Owners (TO) to detect, monitor and report priority environmental exotic plant pest and disease threats in a World Heritage Area. Additionally, this project will be used as a model to develop and environmental biosecurity awareness, surveillance and reporting training module that could be adopted nationally.

In collaboration with Butchulla, DAF, BQ and DES, training packages will be developed for:

  • MR identification, monitoring, impact assessment
  • Environmental biosecurity awareness and reporting processes

It will:

  • Deliver training to TOs
  • Develop environmental pest and disease surveillance activities
  • Establish MR monitoring plots
  • Develop biosecurity training modules and materials suitable for extension to other Environment agencies
  • Develop MR identification and impact assessment training packages

The impacts will be:

  • Increased environmental biosecurity awareness, detection and reporting capacity
  • Contribution to reporting species and community impact (Theme 3 MR Action Plan)
  • Shared TO knowledge of the cultural importance of MR-susceptible plant species
  • Enhanced awareness of required and accepted scientific reporting and monitoring methodology within TO groups
  • Improved capacity to report on forest health status, in particular MR impacts, as per Australian Government environmental department’s international and statutory responsibilities relevant to invasive species.