National response to the Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity (IGAB) report – Priorities for Australia’s biosecurity system released today, November 29, confirms all governments to work to build a national system to meet future challenges. The Coalition Government has already addressed a number of recommendations

THE Coalition Government today released its national response to the independent review of the Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity (IGAB).

The response represents a commitment by all governments to build a stronger national biosecurity system to meet new challenges and protect Australia’s farming future.

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said the government had accepted all 42 recommendations to strengthen the system over the next five to ten years.

“Australia’s international trade is booming and more people are heading down-under on holiday, which creates new biosecurity challenges,” Minister Littleproud said.

“We’ll focus on biosecurity awareness, sustainable funding, research and innovation and managing biosecurity across all sectors.

“We need to know where the risks are to be able to deal with them more quickly.

“Our $60 billion agriculture industries are at stake along with our pristine environment and fantastic lifestyle.

“The Coalition Government is already working on many of the report’s recommendations.

“We are in the final stages of negotiations with state and territory governments to deliver a new IGAB and I look forward to finalising the new agreement.”

During this year’s Budget the government announced $313 million over six years from 2017-18 for biosecurity, including $25.2 million for smart new pest detecting technology and $36.5 million to improve biosecurity data and analytics to better identify which passengers, countries and imports are likely to bring in pests and diseases.

The National Biosecurity Committee (NBC) will report on ongoing and improved commitment to national biosecurity under the new agreement. The NBC’s 2018 National Biosecurity Forum is being held in Canberra today.

The Priorities for Australia’s biosecurity system: an independent review of the capacity of the national biosecurity system and its underpinning intergovernmental agreement report is available here.

Fast Facts:

  • An independent review of the capacity of the national biosecurity system and the IGAB was initiated by agriculture ministers in 2015.
  • The final report, titled Priorities for Australia’s biosecurity system, was presented to agriculture ministers in July 2017.
  • The report confirmed that the national biosecurity system faces increasing resourcing pressures and risks, driven by growth in international trade and passenger movement.
  • The volumes of passenger, shipping and containerised cargo arrivals in Australia are set to increase by more than 70 per cent by 2025
  • It made 42 recommendations aimed at strengthening the capability of the system over the next five to ten years.
  • ABARES have found that good national biosecurity systems can save the average farmer up to $17,500 per farm per year.