Health of Australia’s biosecurity system
Project ID: 1607B
CEBRA Project Leader: Edith Arndt
DAWR Sponsor: Matthew Koval
DAWR Project Leader: Paul Pheloung
DAWR Division: Biosecurity Policy and Implementation
MPI Project Manager: N/A
Collaborators: Peter Gooday (ABARES), Alistar Davidson (ABARES), Ahmed Hafi (ABARES), Tony Arthur (ABARES), Simon Veitch (DAWR), Haidee Hudson (DAWR), Kris Duthrie (DAWR), Steve Hathaway (NZ MPI)
To assess the health of Australia’s biosecurity system, the Department needs to build on existing capability, and to develop new methods and processes it can use to articulate the health of the biosecurity system in clear terms, against specified benchmarks of acceptability.
The Department currently relies on qualitative pathway specific risk analysis and reviews to assess and if necessary address potential unacceptable exposure to risk. Some work has been done collaboratively by government jurisdictions under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity, such as stocktakes of biosecurity investment and targeted investigations to evaluate the effectiveness of resource allocations for surveillance and emergency response.
Clearly defined criteria and indicators, to be used as benchmarks to assess the health of the biosecurity system, including indicators of insufficient or excessive investment or regulation across the entire biosecurity system and for all categories of consequences (economic, environmental etc.), would enable the Department to identify where improvements are needed on a based on sound evidence.
A review of the Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity, additional biosecurity related investments arising from the Australian government White Papers on Agricultural Competitiveness and Developing Northern Australia, and the regulatory reform agenda would all benefit from an improved ability to describe the health of the biosecurity system.