Blitz to cut pest risk to ex­ports

Countryman - - NEWS - Mitchell Wood­cock

Re­gional peo­ple are be­ing urged to par­tic­i­pate in this year’s Biosecurity Blitz to pro­tect WA’s flour­ish­ing food ex­port in­dus­try.

The blitz, from Oc­to­ber 19 to Novem­ber 16, en­cour­ages peo­ple to re­port pests, dis­eases and weeds to help pro­tect the State’s agri­cul­tural in­dus­try.

Peo­ple are be­ing asked to down­load the MyPestGuide Re­porter or PestFax app to their phone, which will al­low them to take pho­tos of pests and weeds, and up­load it to the Depart­ment of Pri­mary In­dus­tries and Re­gional De­vel­op­ment data­base.

DPIRD de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer Laura Fa­gan said re­gional peo­ple were vi­tal when it came to the blitz.

“It is dif­fi­cult for them (re­gional peo­ple) to be proac­tive be­cause of the vast area they have to cover,” she said.

Ms Fa­gan said the sur­veil­lance un­der­taken dur­ing the blitz would help stop over­seas pests from af­fect­ing hor­ti­cul­ture, agri­cul­ture and fish­eries.

“There are three dif­fer­ent re­port­ing tools and all those re­ports that peo­ple send to us through those ap­pli­ca­tions, those ef­forts help to free us from pests and dis­eases,” she said.

“It un­der­pins our im­por­tant trade mar­kets over­seas.

“It ba­si­cally im­proves our econ­omy and liveli­hoods of those who are con­nected to those in­dus­tries.”

Agri­cul­ture and Food Min­is­ter Alan­nah MacTier­nan told Par­lia­ment last Wed­nes­day the blitz was crit­i­cal to pro­tec­tion of those ex­port sec­tors from pests, dis­eases and weeds.

“The pub­lic re­ally got on board with last year’s cam­paign, which recorded 854 re­ports and re­sulted in the de­tec­tion of new lo­ca­tions for cit­rus gall wasp,” she said.

“Early de­tec­tion is es­sen­tial for an ef­fec­tive biosecurity re­sponse, as has been demon­strated by the State’s re­sponse to sev­eral ex­otic pests over the past 18 months, namely the Queens­land fruit fly, the tomato potato psyl­lid, cit­rus canker and the brown mar­morated stink bug.

“We want to see com­mu­nity groups, schools and fam­i­lies get in­volved in this year’s Biosecurity Blitz.” There are school chal­lenges and other ac­tiv­i­ties which re­gional groups can get in­volved in through the DPIRD web­site.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.