Blitz to cut pest risk to exports
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.