Australia is fortunate to be one of the few countries in the world to remain free from the most severe pests and diseases that could harm the health of animals, people, plants and the environment.
Biosecurity risk does not discriminate and, if not managed properly, can have devastating impacts for Australia. Managing risks to Australia’s environment is a crucial part of maintaining a modern and robust biosecurity system. We work in partnership with other governments, industry and the community to prevent exotic pests and diseases from arriving, and helping to control outbreaks when they do occur.
How are outbreaks managed?
There are a number of plans, groups and processes that come together to stage an effective response, but importantly, there is just one nationally agreed system used to respond to all pest or disease outbreaks.
This Biosecurity Incident Management System is used consistently across the country by the Australian, state and territory governments, Plant Health Australia, Animal Health Australia, and the CSIRO’s Australian Animal Health Laboratory.
The Pest and Disease Preparedness and Response Program allocated $86 million over 2014-15 to 2017-18 to nationally cost shared eradication responses to pest and disease incursions. Funding is managed under formal agreements including the:
- Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement
- Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed
- National Environmental Biosecurity Response Agreement.
Where does Landcare fit in?
The National Landcare Program has allocated funds contributing to national emergency response arrangements that are in place for pests and diseases as well as activities supporting the eradication of priority pest, disease and weeds. Land managers and community volunteers work in the frontline to protect and regenerate the environment. Find out more about how you can reduce biosecurity risk in your area.
Impacts of an outbreak
Foot and mouth disease
An ABARES update (in 2011) of the Productivity Commission report of 2001 estimated that over a ten year period there would be national economic losses of up to $52 billion, if a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak occurred in Australia.
For information on current responses, how they are managed, or to report an outbreak, visit the outbreak website.