Big steps to in­crease biose­cu­rity

Central Queensland News - - RURAL WEEKLY -

AUS­TRALIA is tak­ing steps to strengthen its plant biose­cu­rity mea­sures, with the re­lease of a com­pre­hen­sive anal­y­sis of a sig­nif­i­cant plant biose­cu­rity risk to bet­ter in­form fu­ture plant im­port con­di­tions.

Act­ing Head of Biose­cu­rity Plant Di­vi­sion with the De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture and Wa­ter Re­sources Robyn Cle­land said the fi­nal group pest risk anal­y­sis (PRA) for thrips and or­tho­to­spoviruses, plays an im­por­tant part in man­ag­ing the risk of these emerg­ing plant pests ar­riv­ing in Aus­tralia.

“Aus­tralia’s biose­cu­rity sys­tem safe­guards our en­vi­ron­ment and in­dus­tries from pests and dis­eases, but it is im­por­tant to con­tinue look­ing at ways to strengthen the mea­sures we have in place,” Dr Cle­land said.

“Thrips are small in­sects that can cause sig­nif­i­cant dam­age to plants. They can trans­mit or­tho­to­spoviruses, which dam­age a wide range of fruit, veg­etable, legume and or­na­men­tal crops.

“They could ar­rive in Aus­tralia on im­ported plant ma­te­rial and sig­nif­i­cantly im­pact our plant health, as well as the pro­duc­tiv­ity and sus­tain­abil­ity of our $9 bil­lion hor­ti­cul­ture in­dus­try.”

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