We are experiencing unparalleled challenges to our capability and capacity to respond to the increasing number, scale and scope of exotic biosecurity pests and diseases.
Given these challenges, in 2015 the Queensland Government commissioned a review of biosecurity capability to discover gaps and determine what a future biosecurity system should look like to meet these increasing challenges. An independent panel was established to complete the review and present a report to government. In response to the report, the Government announced increased funding of $10.8 million over 4 years to implement the findings of the review, and strengthen Queensland’s biosecurity capability and capacity.
The review found that a new approach was needed to optimise Queensland’s biosecurity system. The ultimate goal of the biosecurity capability program is for all Queenslanders to have the tools and knowledge they need to deal with the biosecurity threats that are under their control. We will achieve this by building the capability of the entire system.
The following 7 priority projects address the highest priorities identified from the review and commenced in 2016. Most projects will continue until 30 June 2020:
- Implementing a collaboratively developed 5 year Strategy and Action Plans that clearly articulate the direction and priorities for biosecurity in Queensland. (Read more about the Strategy and Action Plans)
- Developing a risk based investment allocation model that will help decision makers to understand where resources are most needed to manage risks and ensure an optimal return on future investment. (Read more about the risk based investment model)
- Establishing a Biosecurity Emergency Response Group to ensure Queensland is prepared for biosecurity emergencies and that our responses are consistently and effectively managed and a network of external expertise to help with biosecurity emergencies. (Read more about the Biosecurity Emergency Response Group)
- Analysis of marine pest risk pathways, leading and coordinating preventative measures and responses to marine biosecurity threats and piloting surveillance and monitoring programs in selected ports. (Read more about the Marine pest risk pathways analysis)
- Piloting 2 collaboratively developed regional biosecurity plans to use as models for the rest of the state. (Read more about the regional biosecurity plans)
- Upgrading plant diagnostic processes in Queensland to gain National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accreditation and a review of Departmental diagnostic testing services to assess if pricing is based on industry benefit and public good. (Read more about the plant diagnostic review and upgrade)
- Increasing capacity and capability in Biosecurity Queensland by undertaking a skills audit and training and upskilling where needed, undertaking an organisational redesign and implementing a workforce plan. (Read more about capacity and capability in Biosecurity Queensland)
A further 2 priority projects that commenced prior to 1 July 2016 will continue to improve biosecurity capability in Queensland.
- The Biosecurity Information Management System (BIMS) to allow for staff to use information more effectively.
- Further enhancing and embedding the customer relationship management tool within the Department to ensure we give our customers the best experience possible.
Other projects were identified which would improve biosecurity capability in Queensland, however they were not identified as the highest priorities for the initial phase. Since 1 June 2016 2 new projects have commenced and further projects will begin as resources become available.
- The development of a surveillance strategy for biosecurity in Queensland (commenced).
- The design and delivery of a plan to generate an uptake in on-farm biosecurity and smarter reporting.
- The development of a North Queensland Plan to leverage opportunities in the north to improve biosecurity capability (Commenced. Note that funding is being provided for an indigenous rangers program in the north).
- The development of a comprehensive innovation strategy and function aimed at achieving more with less resources.
- The consideration of an incentive scheme for reporting biosecurity incidents.
- Introducing less regulatory and costly approaches to biosecurity (a reduction of red tape).
- To seek alternative funding avenues to increase readily available funds for emergency responses.
- Undertake a review of the use of the Property Identification Code Register to assess how it’s use could be enhanced, for example, extending to include plant traceability.
- Implement a full cost recovery policy for the tick fever centre and the veterinary surgeons board.
About the review panel
The review was undertaken by an independent panel that included Ms Renata Brooks (Chair), Professor Tom Kompas and Dr Ron Glanville.
The panel consulted with industry and land management stakeholders, key research bodies as well as federal, state and territory biosecurity agencies and local government.
For more information on the biosecurity review, contact our Customer Service Centre.
Boosting Queensland's biosecurity response
The independent panel's final report on the review outlined 32 recommended actions, which fall into four key themes:
- the need to address immediate capability gaps in Biosecurity Queensland
- the need to develop a best practice Queensland biosecurity system where industry, the community and all levels of government accept their proportionate share of risk management responsibilities
- the need to decide on levels of investment for specific pests and diseases based on risk, rate of return and distribution of public and private benefits
- the need to build in Queensland the leading biosecurity agency in Australia
Read the report and recommendations by:
- downloading the Executive Summary of the key findings
- downloading the full report from the Parliamentary website
- downloading the Government's Interim Response to the report
For further information on the review or final report, contact us.