Methodology to guide responses to marine pest incursions under the National Environmental Biosecurity Response Agreement

Project ID: 1608E
CEBRA Project Leader: Susan Hester
DAWR Sponsor: Tim Chapman
DAWR Project Leader: Sarah Graham
DAWR Division: Biosecurity Animal
MPI Project Manager: N/A
Collaborators: ABARES, Rupert Summerson

In the event of a nationally significant pest or disease outbreak in Australia, a Consultative Committee must make a set of recommendations to the National Biosecurity Management Group (NBMG) on the technical feasibility of eradication based on the benefits and cost of such a response. This action occurs under the National Environmental Biosecurity Response Agreement (NEBRA). The NEBRA includes a National Framework for Biosecurity Benefit:Cost Analysis (the framework). While the framework contains a detailed list of key requirements that a benefit-cost analysis (BCA) must address (see here), it does not contain a methodology or specific tools that would provide a uniform approach to performing a BCA.

When a nationally significant marine pest incursion occurs, the responsibility for undertaking the initial BCA falls upon the affected jurisdiction, where personnel experienced in developing BCAs or experienced in marine pest incursions may not be available. Tools that could be rapidly applied under emergency response circumstances are lacking, particularly for assessing non-market impacts and is thus likely to be a significant impediment to performing a timely and cost-effective response to a marine pest incursion. This project aims to fill this gap in response-capacity by producing a BCA methodology that would guide the evaluation of management options in the context of emergency responses to marine pest incursions.

The most significant benefit of this project will be increased capacity in jurisdictions to complete a BCA with a consistent format and content for a marine pest incursion in emergency response (time critical) circumstances. This, in turn, will enable the NBMG to more rapidly establish and implement a national biosecurity incident emergency response if deemed necessary.

Research Program

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