Government biosecurity benefits from research

A symposium showcasing PBCRC research projects was held at the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) in Canberra recently, with eighteen projects of relevance to DAWR biosecurity operations featured, including collaborations from the U.S. and New Zealand.

The Australian Government is a key end-user of PBCRC research, and through DAWR, has been a formal participant in the CRC since its establishment in 2012. DAWR is responsible for Australia’s national biosecurity system, legislation and regulations, and works closely with state governments and industry to ensure quarantine and import/export requirements are met to protect Australia’s agricultural industries and to support market access. PBCRC research supports Australia’s strong biosecurity system, to ensure it is reinforced by the latest science.

The symposium was opened by Lyn O’Connell, Deputy Secretary of DAWR, with a session opening address by Dr Sally Troy, DAWR Assistant Secretary. PBCRC researchers discussed CRC research projects of relevance to DAWR as end-users, including better and targeted surveillance of plant pests and diseases, improved decision-making for eradication and quarantine zones, social science for better partnerships and collaboration, new and improved diagnostics, such as virus and viroid testing of imported seeds to prevent the incursion of new diseases, and new platforms for testing in post-entry quarantine which could reduce time and costs for importers of new plant varieties.