The New South Wales Government’s 2013 biosecurity strategy aims for the government, industry and people of New South Wales to work together to protect our economy, environment and community from the negative impacts which animal and plant pests, diseases and weeds can have on our environment. Biosecurity is vital for the health, wellbeing and prosperity of everyone in New South Wales.
Biosecurity is about risk management, and the New South Wales government is helping to minimise risks by
- Preventing the entry of pests, diseases and weeds into New South Wales
- Quickly finding, containing and eradicating any pests, diseases or weeds that have entered New South Wales
- Minimising the negative impacts of the pests, diseases and weeds that cannot be eradicated
The Biosecurity strategy aims to highlight the importance of biosecurity for New South Wales and identifies objectives to pursue over the next 8 years.
Some objectives of the strategy are
- To create a strong biosecurity scheme for NSW
- To maintain or improve NSW’s ability to respond to, manage and control biosecurity threats
- To make it possible for everyone to work together be educated and aware of the importance of biosecurity
- Identify a clear set of goals in relation to biosecurity
- Provide a clear direction for biosecurity research
Why is it Important?
Many countries prefer to buy Australian goods as they are free from many of the pests, diseases and weeds found in other parts of the world. Our strong biosecurity status is crucial for developing and maintaining both overseas and domestic markets. Any market closure due to short-term or extensive pest or disease outbreaks could result in a dramatic drop in our gross domestic product. It is estimated that a 12 month outbreak of foot and mouth disease would reduce Australia’s gross domestic product by between $10.3 billion and $16.7 billion over 10 years, and an outbreak of avian influenza, infecting people as well as birds could cost Australia over $10 billion.
Around 19% of native land mammal species in NSW have become extinct after European settlement. Pest animals such as cats, foxes, rabbits and wild dogs are thought to be the main cause of most of these extinctions. These pest animals are contributing to the decline of many native animals, especially birds and reptiles, including around 40% of NSW’s endangered species.
It is vital for wellbeing of all of Australia environmentally, economically and socially that everyone is educated and aware of the importance of biosecurity.
What Can You Do?
We as a community have a responsibility to
- Be aware of and manage biosecurity risks when they occur on our property or in waterways or public spaces (for example by controlling weeds in your garden)
- Quickly report significant unusual pests, diseases or weeds
- Participate in community programs that reduce risks from pests, diseases and weeds in the natural environment
Farmers can contribute to increased biosecurity risks by allowing diseased animals to roam from property to property, or by allowing pests and weeds to be transported on machinery and equipment.
They also have a responsibility to
- Identify, report and manage any biosecurity risks that may threaten their or other properties
- Keep a watchful eye out for pests, diseases and weeds
- Responsibly dispose of chemicals or other farm waste
For more information visit http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/biosecurity
Biosecurity: A Shared Responsibility