Our department

​Planned outcomes

The department had two planned outcomes in 2013–14.

Outcome 1

More sustainable, productive, internationally competitive and profitable Australian agricultural, food and fibre industries through policies and initiatives that promote better resource management practices, innovation, self-reliance and improved access to international markets.

Outcome 2

Safeguard Australia’s animal and plant health status to maintain overseas markets and protect the economy and environment from the impact of exotic pests and diseases, through risk assessment, inspection and certification, and the implementation of emergency response arrangements for Australian agricultural, food and fibre industries.

Strategic direction

Major priorities in 2013–14 to support these outcomes included:

  • delivering biosecurity and export certification services
  • progressing biosecurity reforms aimed at delivering a system that is responsive and targeted in a changing global trading environment
  • supporting the eradication and management of nationally significant agricultural and environmental plant and animal pests and diseases
  • working closely with other agencies, industry and foreign governments to maintain and increase access to global markets for Australia’s agriculture, fisheries, forestry and related industries
  • developing and implementing initiatives to reduce the regulatory burden on business
  • supporting the development of the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper
  • contributing to the White Paper on Developing Northern Australia
  • providing support for farmers facing unexpected hardship
  • continuing to support the rural research and development corporations
  • working with the states on extensions to regional forest agreements
  • establishing a ministerial advisory council for the agricultural sector
  • commencing construction of, and planning the transition to, a single post-entry quarantine facility from late 2015
  • delivering high-quality commodity forecasts, research and statistics to support effective decision-making by the Government and the private sector.

Organisational structure

Our divisions work individually and together to deliver planned outcomes. Figure 7 shows our organisational structure as at 30 June 2014.

Figure 7 Organisational structure as at 30 June 2014

 

Our executive

Dr Paul Grimes commenced as the secretary of the Department of Agriculture on 18 September 2013, following three years as the secretary of the then Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.

The secretary is responsible for the efficient and effective operation of the department and is also the Director of Animal and Plant Quarantine. His other roles include:

  • chair of the Executive Management Committee (EMC)
  • chair of National Management Groups for nationally coordinated emergency responses to pest and disease incursions
  • chair of the National Biosecurity Committee
  • chair of the Agriculture Senior Officials Committee.

Three deputy secretaries assist the secretary across a range of issues and departmental functions and oversee the work of particular divisions.

Mr Mark Tucker joined the department in February 2012. He has a Bachelor of Science (Hons) majoring in marine zoology.

Mr Tucker has responsibility for the work of the Agricultural Adaptation and Forestry, Agricultural Productivity, Information Services and Sustainable Resource Management divisions. His other roles include:

  • member of the EMC
  • chair of the Information and Communication Technology Committee
  • chair of the Information Management Committee
  • chair of the Security Committee
  • member of the Budget, Investment and Finance Committee
  • member of the Change Management Committee
  • chair of the National Employee Consultative Committee
  • member of the Food Regulation Standing Committee
  • departmental Indigenous Champion
  • departmental Information Champion.

Ms Rona Mellor PSM joined the department in February 2010. She has a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Queensland.

Ms Mellor has responsibility for the work of the biosecurity divisions and the People and Service Delivery division. Her other roles include:

  • member of the EMC
  • chair of the Change Management Committee
  • chair of the Legislation and Regulatory Reform Committee
  • chair of the People Committee
  • member of the Budget, Investment and Finance Committee
  • member of the Information and Communication Technology Committee
  • co-chair of the Department of Agriculture–Customs Strategic Working Group
  • Australian Government representative on National Biosecurity Committee
  • Australian Government representative on National Management Groups.

Mr Phillip Glyde joined the department in November 2006. He has an honours degree in natural resource management from the University of New England and a Bachelor of Economics from the Australian National University.

Mr Glyde has responsibility for the work of ABARES and the Finance and Business Support, Food, Live Animal Exports and Trade and Market Access divisions.

His other roles include:

  • member of the EMC
  • chair of the Budget, Investment and Finance Committee
  • deputy chair of the Audit Committee
  • member of the Change Management Committee
  • Australian Commissioner of the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna
  • departmental Disability Champion.

Division roles and responsibilities

Agricultural Adaptation and Forestry Division

The Agricultural Adaptation and Forestry Division develops policies and implements programmes to support farm families and businesses through periods of financial hardship, including hardship because of drought, and to improve the capacity of Australia’s primary industries and producers to adapt and adjust to a changing climate while improving productivity. The division also delivers policies and programmes on the sustainable management and use of Australia’s forests and to support the purchase and sale of legally harvested timber.

Agricultural Productivity Division

The Agricultural Productivity Division aims to make Australia’s agricultural and food industries more globally competitive and profitable. The division is responsible for specific industry sectors, such as crops, wine, horticulture, wool, meat and dairy. It is also responsible for the food value chain, the rural research and development system, and for policy on agricultural and veterinary chemicals. The division works collaboratively with industry, portfolio agencies, governments and the community on activities to enhance industry development and to reduce market impediments.

Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) is the department’s research arm. It provides professionally independent research, analysis, commodity forecasting and data across the fields of economics, science and social science. ABARES shares its outputs and findings with government agencies, industry, research bodies and other relevant groups for the benefit of the Australian community.

Australian Chief Plant Protection Officer

The Australian Chief Plant Protection Officer works closely with the Biosecurity Plant Division to enhance and drive opportunities for the Australian economy and Australia’s plant-dependent industries through improved market access, to promote a shared vision for plant health in Australia to protect our valuable plant resources, and to represent the Australian Government on plant health issues of international and national interest.

Australian Chief Veterinary Officer

The Chief Veterinary Officer provides leadership for international and national biosecurity policies and strategies relevant to animal health and welfare, especially in the context of emergency management. The Chief Veterinary Officer works closely with the Biosecurity Animal Division to enhance trade and market access for animals and animal products, and with public health, environmental and veterinary experts to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.

Biosecurity Animal Division

The Biosecurity Animal Division works to maintain and enhance trade and market access for animals and animal products. The division undertakes risk analyses and determines the import requirements for live animals and animal genetic and biological material. It works collaboratively with industry, governments and the community to strengthen Australia’s animal disease prevention, preparedness and response capabilities, as well as providing leadership and strategic direction on domestic and international animal welfare issues.

Biosecurity Plant Division

The Biosecurity Plant Division works to maintain and enhance trade and market access for plants and plant products. The division provides direct input into inspection and certification requirements for plant imports and exports to ensure these meet international standards. It works collaboratively with Australian industries, governments and the community to strengthen Australia’s plant pest and disease prevention, preparedness and response capabilities, and provides leadership and strategic direction.

Biosecurity Policy Division

The Biosecurity Policy Division develops long-term, strategic policy initiatives for Australia’s biosecurity. It works collaboratively with Australian industries, governments and the community to ensure the development and implementation of a risk-based approach to managing biosecurity issues, and to prepare for and support the management of incursions.

Compliance Division

The Compliance Division manages biosecurity pathway compliance for international passengers, mail and cargo, including setting regulatory service delivery standards. It manages third-party arrangements (both on and offshore) that allow the effective and efficient discharge of cargos and the deployment of operational science capabilities, and provides an import and export enforcement capability to deal with serious non-compliance matters. The division works with state and territory governments, industry and the community to manage compliance with Australia’s biosecurity requirements.

Finance and Business Support Division

The Finance and Business Support Division provides financial and management advice to the department, the minister’s and parliamentary secretary’s offices and industry bodies. It is also responsible for administering Commonwealth statutory levies on rural commodities. Key responsibilities include modernising financial services and systems, payroll and accounts transaction management, cost-recovery and budget management, financial sustainability and providing national procurement, contracting, property management and business support services.

Food Division

The Food Division is responsible for developing strategies to gain, improve or maintain overseas market access for a range of food and animal products. The division encompasses market access and maintenance, export documentation, registration and licensing, export certification and the National Residue Survey. It is responsible for coordinating Australian policy and technical input into international food standards. In consultation with Australian governments, industries and the community, the division also oversees the national management of export food programmes.

Governance Division

The Governance Division works collaboratively across the portfolio and with stakeholders to foster a coordinated approach to portfolio priorities, and provides a range of corporate and enabling services. It delivers policy analysis, coordination, advice and support services to the minister and parliamentary secretary, their offices, the executive and departmental divisions. The division’s work includes secretariat functions, parliamentary and executive support, communications, internal audit and business assurance, security and risk management, strategic policy and coordination functions. The division has the lead responsibility for progressing the department’s regulatory reform agenda.

Information Services Division

The Information Services Division is responsible for all information and communication technology (ICT) functions and activities within the department. It provides ICT applications support and development capability for all divisions and develops and maintains ICT strategic planning, enterprise architecture and information management.

Live Animal Exports Division

The Live Animal Exports Division undertakes regulatory functions by providing certification for the export of live animals and reproductive material to meet importing country requirements. Apart from meeting these requirements, the division seeks to ensure industry manages animal welfare outcomes across export supply chains. In undertaking its priority reform activities and developing and reviewing policies and processes for the export of live animals and reproductive material, the division consults broadly with Australian governments and industry representatives.

Office of the General Counsel

The Office of the General Counsel (OGC) is responsible for managing all legal services and advice required by the department. The OGC provides independent legal advice to the executive and assists with the oversight and risk management of sensitive legal issues. It also provides a central coordination point to the department for legal advice (subject to the Legal Services Directions on tied work), legislative development and coordination, freedom of information requests, privacy advice and claims resolution. The OGC works with departmental line areas to deliver timely, accurate and appropriate advice, and manages any external legal providers.

People and Service Delivery Division

The People and Service Delivery Division focuses on investing in our people, people capability and management, regional management, programme and change management functions and service delivery modernisation.

Post-entry Quarantine Programme Division

The Post-entry Quarantine Programme Division oversees the planning for, construction of and transition to a new, single post-entry quarantine facility. The division is also responsible for managing the four existing post-entry quarantine facilities, under a national service modernisation model. These ageing facilities will be progressively decommissioned between 2015 and 2018. The new Government-owned and operated site will be located at Mickleham in Victoria and will consolidate all Government-operated animal and plant post-entry quarantine into this facility.

Sustainable Resource Management Division

The Sustainable Resource Management Division works to improve productivity by strengthening the capacity of Australian primary producers and other land managers to use and manage natural resources sustainably and to improve the national approach to weeds and pests management. It provides policy advice and manages programmes aimed at promoting sustainable agricultural, fishery and aquaculture sectors. The division also provides policy advice and support for the management of Commonwealth fisheries resources.

Trade and Market Access Division

The Trade and Market Access Division pursues international market access for portfolio industries through bilateral, regional and multilateral engagement. The division is responsible for ensuring that Australia’s obligations under the World Trade Organization (WTO) and free trade agreements are met. It facilitates regular formal bilateral meetings and supports engagement with the WTO, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The division maintains the overseas network of the department’s posted officers and supports high-level representations on market access issues.

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Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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