National Transition Program Policy Framework

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National Biosecurity Committee

11 April 2002

1. Scope

  1. When eradication of a pest or disease incursion is determined to not be feasible, cost-beneficial or desirable, a national transition program (“transition program”) may be entered into with the objective to:

    1. undertake activities to allow industry and/or the community to live with the particular pest or disease (known as a “transition to management program”), or
    2. contain a pest or disease while future management options are determined or activities are undertaken with a view to return to full eradication in the future (known as a “transition containment program”).
  2. Transition programs are time bound and short term in nature.  Transition Programs should be no more than six to twelve months.

  3. Transition programs should not be viewed as an automatic progression once the decision has been made that a pest or disease is not eradicable.  The decision to establish a transition program will be made by a national management group on a case by case basis.

  4. Transition programs do not apply to current management programs of pests and diseases that are not under a national eradication program.

2. Governance

  1. The governance of a transition program should normally operate in a comparable manner to the existing management frameworks under the emergency response deeds.
  2. In principle, and subject to further consultation, amendments should be made to the existing emergency response deeds to capture the intent of this policy framework.
  3. For a transition program to commence, all relevant parties must agree to participate in accordance with an agreed transition program.

3. Principles to guide decision making

  1. Determination of an appropriate transition program should be based on:
    1. The best available science
    2. A risk analysis based on agreed risk analysis methodology and risk management approaches
    3. An assessment against agreed technical feasibility criteria.
  2. An analysis of benefits and costs using a methodology agreed by all parties
  3. Confirmation or re-classification of the pest or disease category
  4. Objectives of the transition program must be clearly articulated
  5. A transition program should describe all activities that are being cost-shared and be accompanied by a description of those activities that are not being cost-shared but form part of the management response
  6. The period within which the transition program will operate must be agreed and clearly specified in the plan
  7. The transition program must include decision points for review to assess whether the program continues to be appropriate
  8. A transition program should describe the responsibilities and expected actions of all affected parties and stakeholder sectors
  9. Each potentially affected party must have the capability to implement the agreed program, and
  10. A transition program must be implemented in a way that is consistent with Australia’s international obligations..

4. Decision thresholds

  1. Application of a transition program may be considered when the proponent provides a proposal that includes a risk analysis, based on agreed risk analysis methods and risk management approaches, and satisfies the following elements:
    1. The pest or disease is agreed to be ‘nationally significant’
    2. Eradication is no longer considered to be feasible or cost-beneficial
    3. It is demonstrably in the national interest to undertake the specified activities for the specified period
    4. There is a clear economic case for the transition program
    5. Potential beneficiaries or parties to the transition program are identified and agree to participate in decision making and to share costs
    6. It is confirmed that immediate management measures and activities (like business practice change or existing interstate certification schemes) will alone be insufficient to manage the pest or disease
    7. For a transition containment program and/or containment elements of a transition to management program, it is technically feasible to contain the pest or disease for the specified period.

5. Activities to be cost shared

  1. The activities that make up a transition program will depend on the pest and the prevailing circumstances and will be considered by a national management group on a case by case basis.
  2. The activities that may be considered in a transition program include:
    1. Research and development including technology development necessary to meet the objectives of the transition program (eg better detection techniques, better treatments etc) where there are no other mechanisms for funding the R&D
    2. Essential communications, community engagement and education activities to support the objectives of the transition program
    3. Activities (above normal commitments) in potentially affected jurisdictions to set up measures necessary to complement any containment measures in the affected jurisdiction (eg quarantine measures, treatments, inspection arrangements, compliance agreements)
    4. Administration support (above normal commitments) to manage the transition program
    5. Activities to respond to an outbreak outside the scope of the transition program which is of national significance in its own right (that is, a fulminant outbreak).
  3. Additional activities that can be considered in a transition to management program include:
    1. Activities necessary to suppress the pest or disease where deemed necessary
    2. Short term containment of the pest or disease where deemed necessary (eg containment of a disease while a vaccine is produced)
    3. Development of codes of practice, on-property biosecurity plans or guidelines.
  4. Activities that should be considered in a transition containment program include:
    1. Establishment of an effective containment area and perimeter, including quarantine measures, treatments, inspection arrangements and compliance agreements
    2. Eradication activities essential to maintain the containment area (eg spot outbreaks outside the containment area)
    3. Surveillance to ensure the integrity of the containment perimeter.

6. Cost sharing principles

  1. Cost sharing approaches will be determined, unless otherwise agreed, by the reason for entering a transition program.
    1. For a pest/disease response that was operating under an existing deed but has been determined to not be eradicable, or would have been eligible under an existing deed if eradicable, the cost sharing formula set out in that deed will be applied.
    2. Otherwise, the cost sharing approach will be on a population-at-risk basis.

7. Review of a transition program

  1. Decision points for reviewing the transition to management program will be agreed as part of the transition plan and be regularly monitored.
  2. Decision points can include, but are not limited to:
    1. Eradication becomes technically feasible, cost beneficial, and in the national interest and adequate resources become or are made available for eradicating the pest or disease
    2. Where containment is a program requirement, the pest and disease is found outside the containment area and/or new hosts are introduced to the containment area (e.g. changes in the production industries located in the containment area)
    3. The pest or disease expands its host range or, regardless of the existence of a host, evolves to a form that will have a greater impact (e.g. increases in virulence, develops resistance to herbicides, increases reproductive rates etc)
    4. Resources are reprioritised towards or away from management of the pest or disease
    5. Agreed commitment of any party not forthcoming
    6. Changes in the impact of the pest or disease
    7. Changes to requirements for market access
    8. When a specified percentage of the Gross Value of Production of the affected industry is spent on the management program
    9. Changes to the economic case underpinning the transition program
    10. Any review points additionally identified through the risk analysis process
    11. Agreed milestones not being met.
  3. Suggested actions to be taken in response to agreed decision points should be articulated in the transition program.