1 July 2015
This Biosecurity Advice notifies stakeholders of the release of a draft risk analysis report to consider a proposal for the release of the cochineal insect Dactylopius tomentosus ‘fulgida’ biotype for the biological control of coral cactus (Cylindropuntia fulgida var. mamillata). The draft report is being issued for 30 days consultation. Written comments and submissions are invited by 31 July 2015.
The Department of Agriculture has released a draft risk analysis report assessing an application from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland and the NSW Department of Primary Industries to release the cochineal insect Dactylopius tomentosus ‘fulgida’ biotype for the biological control of coral cactus (Cylindropuntia fulgida var. mamillata). In support of this application, the applicant has provided a submission detailing results of host specificity testing, along with other relevant information. This submission is included as an attachment to the draft report.
A preliminary draft of this report was distributed to state and territory departments of primary industry and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) through the Plant Health Committee (PHC). Comments received via this consultation process were incorporated into the draft risk analysis report.
The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland and the NSW Department of Primary Industries submitted an application for the release of Dactylopius tomentosus ‘fulgida’ biotype in September 2014.
The Department of the Environment also has an approval process under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999. Under Section 303EE (4) of the EPBC Act, risk analysis reports prepared by the Department of Agriculture may be used by the Environment Minister in making a determination to include the item on the List of specimens suitable for live import (the live import list). The Department of Agriculture has consulted with the Department of the Environment prior to the release of the draft report and Environment agrees with the recommendations of the report.
The draft report proposes that the biological control agent should be released. The draft report has determined that the probability of off-target effects and potential consequences that would be associated with the release of Dactylopius tomentosus ‘fulgida’ biotype have been estimated to be negligible. A risk estimate of negligible meets Australia’s appropriate level of protection (ALOP).
The draft report, attachment and information about the risk analysis process are available at agriculture.gov.au/biosecurity/risk-analysis/reviews/biological-control-agents.
In accordance with the IRA handbook 2011, this risk analysis has been undertaken as a non-regulated analysis of existing policy. Stakeholders will have up to 30 days to submit written comments on the draft report. Comments must be submitted by 31 July 2015.
Please pass this notice to other interested parties. If those parties wish to be included in future communications on this matter they should contact Plant Biosecurity.
Louise van Meurs
A/g First Assistant Secretary
Contact: David Heinrich
Telephone: +61 2 6272 3220
Facsimile: +61 2 6272 3307
Lodging a submission: There is no specific format for a submission, but they must be in writing, and identify the relevant technical biosecurity issues being raised with supporting evidence. Preferably, submissions should be in Microsoft Word or other text-based formats and lodged electronically via email, but postal submissions are acceptable. Submissions should be received by the department within the stated comment period and addressed to:
Australian Government Department of Agriculture
GPO Box 858
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: +61 2 6272 5094
Facsimile: +61 2 6272 3307
Privacy: Personal information collected by the department will only be used to enable the department to contact you about your submission and may be disclosed to specialists, another Commonwealth government agency, a State or Territory government agency or foreign government department, provided the disclosure is consistent with relevant laws, in particular the Privacy Act 1988.
Confidentiality: Subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 and the Privacy Act 1988, content of submissions may be made public, unless you state you want all or part of your submission to be treated as confidential. A claim for confidentiality must be justified and provided as an attachment, marked ‘Confidential’. ‘Confidential’ material will not be made public. The department reserves the right not to publish submissions.
No breach of confidence will occur if the department shares your submission with a third party referred to under ‘Privacy’ in seeking advice in response to your submission.
Intellectual property: Responsibility for compliance with Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in submissions rests with the author(s). In lodging a submission, you warrant you have not knowingly infringed any third party IPR. By lodging a submission, you grant the Commonwealth a permanent, irrevocable, royalty-free, world-wide, non-exclusive licence to use, copy, reproduce, adapt, communicate and exploit all or any of the material contained in the submission.