Australia's public policies and programs are coordinated nationally by different government committees. This includes public policies and programs for aquatic animal health. These committees have different levels of responsibility. Some provide operational and technical advice, while others make higher level policy decisions. Matters are progressed to different committees depending on:
- the nature of the issue
- the decision-making level required.
Committees also have arrangements in place for industry consultation. This consultation is an important part of policy and program development.
Committees with direct responsibilities for aquatic animal health
SCAAH provides policy, scientific, technical and strategic advice on aquatic animal health issues. SCAAH is an advisory committee to the Animal Health Committee (AHC).
SCAAH’s terms of reference are:
- to support AHC in its policy deliberations on aquatic animal health issues. It does this by providing robust scientific, technical advice and policy recommendations.
- to provide a technical forum for members to work together on aquatic animal health.
- to help with information exchange and awareness raising. Particularly for relevant Australian and New Zealand aquatic animal health issues.
SCAAH considers issues affecting the following sectors:
- commercial fisheries
- ornamental fish
- recreational fishing.
A member of AHC chairs SCAAH. The committee comprises representation from:
- the Australian, state and territory governments
- the New Zealand government
- the CSIRO Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness
- Australian universities.
Seafood Industry Australia's Aquaculture Advisory Committee (SIA-AAC) also has an observer on SCAAH. SCAAH collaborates with other committees on matters of mutual interest. This includes Aquaculture Committee, and the Sub-committee on Animal Health Laboratory Standards.
SCAAH engages with industry on aquatic animal health matters through the SIA-AAC. It provides advice on research and development priorities through the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.
Animal Health Committee (AHC) provides national leadership on animal health and biosecurity matters. It delivers strategic policy, technical and regulatory advice. AHC handles areas of national priority reform. It also oversees the development and implementation of animal health strategies and standards. AHC reports to the National Biosecurity Committee (NBC).
Committees with direct responsibility for emergency aquatic animal disease events
The Aquatic CCEAD provides advice on emergency aquatic emergency animal disease (EAD) events. Such events include, but are not limited to:
- a suspected or confirmed case of an exotic disease
- serious epizootics of Australian origin
- aquatic animal disease incidents of public health or trade significance
- immediate disease threats to Australian fisheries and aquaculture production.
The Australian Chief Veterinary Officer chairs Aquatic CCEAD. The committee comprises representation from:
- state or territory chief veterinary officers or directors of fisheries
- the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
- the CSIRO Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness.
It shares information and makes decisions on the management of aquatic EAD events. It will meet until it decides:
- the disease or threat no longer exists, or
- a national response is no longer required.
The department provides secretariat support to the Aquatic CCEAD.
Committees with high level policy responsibility for aquatic animal health
AMM comprises Australian, state and territory government ministers with responsibility for primary industries. The Australian Government minister with responsibility for agriculture chair AMM. AMM enables cross-jurisdictional cooperation and coordinated approaches to matters of national interest. It is the peak forum to collaborate on priority issues of national significance. It focuses on issues affecting Australia's primary production sectors, including fisheries and forestry.
AGSOC comprises all agency heads responsible for primary industries policy issues. Including the:
- Australian Government
- State and territory governments
- New Zealand Government.
The Secretary of the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry chairs AGSOC. AGSOC enables cross-jurisdictional cooperation and coordinated approaches to matters of national interest. It supports AMM in achieving its objectives.
The National Biosecurity Committee (NBC) is an advisory committee to AGSOC. It provides strategic leadership in managing national approaches to emerging and ongoing biosecurity policy issues across jurisdictions and sectors. The committee comprises senior representation from primary industry or environment government departments. Including the Australian, state and territory governments. The Secretary of the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry chairs NBC as a member of AGSOC.
For further information contact the Aquatic Pest and Health Policy section at: firstname.lastname@example.org.