Monday, May 20, 2024

Biosecurity ambassadors announced for Queensland

The Queensland Government has today unveiled the second five-year Queensland Biosecurity Strategy designed to protect the state from the potentially devastating costs of introduced pests and diseases.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities, Mark Furner, has also named six Biosecurity Mates Ambassadors from across Queensland to spread the message of vigilance in communities.

The strategy supports the efforts of government, industry and communities to manage and keep watch for biosecurity threats as part of a whole community effort to protect our economy, environment and our way of life.

“Raising the profile of biosecurity and encouraging all Queenslanders to help protect our state is a key component of the new strategy. Advocates such as our newly appointed ambassadors play a key role in helping to educate communities about biosecurity,” said Minister Furner.

“I commend our six ambassadors who have put their hands up to advocate for a stronger biosecurity system to protect all that we love about our state including our prosperous industries, clean and green food and our outdoor lifestyle.

“While there are a multitude of biosecurity threats that could impact our state, Biosecurity Queensland does have a ‘hit list’ of ‘unwanted’ plant and animal pests and disease that we are preparing for.

“These include threats that are already on our shores such as varroa mite and banana freckle; to those that are in neighbouring countries such as lumpy skin disease in SE Asia and Avian influenza currently detected for the first time in Antarctica. 

“Plant and animal pests and diseases don’t respect borders, which is why our strategy highlights that biosecurity is everyone’s responsibility,” he said.

Craig Magnussen.

The Biosecurity Mates ambassadors are:

  • Darling Downs-Moreton Rabbit Board CEO Craig Magnussen
  • Friends of Parks Queensland executive officer Jessica Lovegrove-Walsh
  • Researcher and PhD candidate in aquatic animal health Phoebe Arbon
  • Australian Agricultural Company animal health and welfare advisor Julia Harkin
  • Cape York Weeds and Feral Animals Incorporated CEO Trevor Meldrum, and
  • Seed Savers Foundation director Jerry Coleby-Williams.
Jessica Lovegrove-Walsh

The Minister said the ambassadors will drive community awareness of biosecurity targeting a number Queensland’s ‘most unwanted’ biosecurity threats and drawing community attention to how pests and diseases can be successfully identified, managed and where possible eradicated.

Those threats include imported pests such as varroa mites that can devastate European bee populations in their hives, plant diseases such as Panama TR4 disease that endanger banana crops or animal diseases such as Foot-and-Mouth Disease or Lumpy Skin Disease.

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