Communique 23 March 2023

The Biosecurity Queensland Ministerial Advisory Council (BQMAC) met on 6 March 2023 and focused discussion on the Biosecurity Partners Forum to be held on 27-28 March 2023 and the associated development of the Queensland Biosecurity Strategy 2025–2029.

Biosecurity Queensland officers provided updates on recent Biosecurity Queensland activities including, actions taken after the Queensland Government announced a boost of $22 million in funding to support preparedness for multiple, concurrent biosecurity threats.

This has included the recruitment of ten regionally based frontline biosecurity officers located in Toowoomba, Charleville, Gatton, Dalby, Bundaberg, Townsville, Cairns, Mareeba, and South Johnstone.

A horizon scanning and fore-sighting framework is being developed to improve fore- sighting capacity, expand timeframes for decision-making and improve the management of animal biosecurity threats and opportunities within Queensland.

BQMAC were provided updates on the Queensland component of the Northern Australian Coordination Network and preparedness work undertaken in light of recent incursions including white spot disease and varroa mite in New South Wales. A brief update on the National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program was also provided. BQMAC also noted the actions undertaken by the National Implementation Committee (NIC) for progression of the National Biosecurity Strategy.

Members reviewed the program for the upcoming Biosecurity Partners Forum and provided inputs to guide delivery of the program.

BQMAC also provided input on planning for the development of an evaluation framework for the Queensland Biosecurity Strategy 2025–2029, including advice on engaging an evaluation specialist after the Biosecurity Partners Forum and on the principles of evaluation that will be presented to forum participants.

BQMAC discussed the proposed steps in strategy development to be undertaken after the forum and confirmed that BQMAC remains the custodian of the Queensland Biosecurity Strategy.