Australia’s first Chief Environmental Biosecurity Officer (ACEBO) was appointed in October 2018.
The ACEBO’s role is to raise awareness and build Australia’s capacity to manage biosecurity risks to Australia’s unique wildlife, our way of life, and our status as a clean, green exporter of high-quality food.
The ACEBO’s role includes:
- building networks and relationships with key internal and external stakeholders, including Indigenous Australians, to promote and strengthen environmental biosecurity outcomes and reduce threats to the environment from exotic and invasive species
- providing strategic direction and policy advice on environmental biosecurity issues
- being the point of contact for national reporting of environmental pests, diseases and weeds under the National Environmental Biosecurity Response Agreement (NEBRA) and ensuring clear Commonwealth leadership during environmental responses
- enhancing our understanding of environmental biosecurity risks through:
- supporting risk assessments and analysis
- improving the capture, analysis, management, use and sharing of data and information to inform investment and decision-making
- encouraging increased and better-coordinated research
- liaising between government and the community to raise awareness and build Australia’s capacity to manage biosecurity risks.
The ACEBO also participates in a number of key national bodies:
- Member of the Environment and Invasives Committee and Northern Australia Biosecurity Framework Reference Group
- Chair of the National Biosecurity Management Consultative Committee, the Consultative Committee on Environmental Biosecurity Incidents, the Consultative Committee on Invasive Marine Pest Emergencies, and the Environmental Biosecurity Advisory Group
- Observer of the Marine Pest Sectoral Committee
About Dr Bertie Hennecke
Dr Hennecke started as the Australian Chief Environmental Biosecurity Officer in February 2023. Dr Hennecke joined the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry in 2010. Before being appointed as the ACEBO, he held senior leadership roles in the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) and in several of the department’s plant biosecurity areas.
Dr Hennecke’s background is in natural resource management, invasive species, and agricultural sciences with nearly 30 years of experience in the public service and academia in Australia. He holds a PhD in Botany and a Master of International Agriculture.
The Australian Chief Environmental Biosecurity Officer is a national leadership position with a similar profile as the: