A consultation draft for Australia’s first ever national biosecurity strategy has been released for public feedback and comment. The strategy will set priorities and actions for all of Australia to protect our agricultural industries and environment from pests and diseases.

It’s being co-developed by the Australian Government and state and territory governments in partnership with industries, environment groups and community stakeholders.

The Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment (DAWE) says that while Australia has a strong and mature biosecurity system, biosecurity risks are continuing to rise in volume and complexity.

Globalisation, climate change, increasingly complex trade and travel patterns and shifting land use are all changing how pests and diseases spread, establish and impact across the globe, and how we can respond.

Addressing these risks requires effort across a diverse range of government and non-government stakeholders.

“Development of a national biosecurity strategy provides an opportunity to articulate national priorities and actions, supporting coordinated reform and investment, to future-proof Australia’s biosecurity system against growing risks and challenges,” DAWE says.

The consultation draft captures views heard to date from stakeholders about how the biosecurity system needs to evolve, and outlines priority areas and initial strategic actions to improve the biosecurity system.

It also includes specific questions to prompt broader reflection and input, and to inform next steps.

Public feedback from this consultation stage will be considered in the final strategy, which will be presented to all Australian ministers responsible for biosecurity later in 2022.

Public feedback and comment closes on Friday 18 March 2022.

To read the draft and provide comment, visit https://haveyoursay.awe.gov.au/national-biosecurity-strategy.