The latest go-to guide on how Australia is being protected against plant pests and diseases reveals the tremendous effort being made across the country to sustain our plant industries, unique ecosystems and standards of living.

The 10th edition of the National Plant Biosecurity Status Report was released on 19 July by Plant Health Australia (PHA), the national coordinator of the government-industry partnership for plant biosecurity.

The report details the efforts being made by Australian and state governments, industries, research agencies and the community involved in plant biosecurity. Around 700 projects are being undertaken around Australia, covering pest management, crop improvement, surveillance, diagnostics and the basic biology of pests, crops and other plants to solve challenges affecting our plant industries.

The report identifies the greatest exotic pest threats to plant production, the governance of plant biosecurity in Australia and explains the mechanisms in place, including surveillance and diagnostics, used to maintain the pest status of plant industries.

The report discusses Australia’s plant biosecurity system as three layers of protection, within which specific activities such as the following are undertaken:


  • Analysing pest risks associated with proposed imports
  • Inspecting, verifying and auditing overseas exporters
  • Undertaking pest surveillance overseas
  • Anticipating pest threats by gathering global pest intelligence
  • Negotiating export market access
  • Maintaining a manual of importing country requirements and an export documentation system to facilitate exports
  • Inspecting and monitoring the arrival of people, cargo, mail and plant products
  • Raising awareness of plant pests and movement restrictions
  • Imposing biosecurity measures at ports
  • Encouraging reporting of suspected new pests by port workers and importers
  • Enforcing border restrictions
  • Isolating newly arrived plant material in post-entry quarantine facilities
  • Prioritising exotic pests to target for preparedness and prevention activities
  • Preventing spread of regionalised pests
  • Providing early warning of incursions of exotic pests with surveillance
  • Eradicating exotic pests under the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed
  • Encouraging reporting of anything unusual
  • Managing established pests
  • Maintaining the ability to diagnose plant pests
  • Maintaining emergency response capacity
  • Protecting farms with on-farm biosecurity measures
  • Managing pest fruit flies on a national basis
  • Managing weeds


Read the full report here