Australia’s north is vast and sparsely populated with a coastline of over 10,000km. It is the frontline entry-point for many high-risk animal and plant pests and diseases which can damage agriculture and our broader environment.
A clean, safe and ‘biosecure’ northern border benefits all Australia. It helps safeguard investment in agriculture, prevents diseases passing to humans and allows Australia to export around $61 billion of produce around the world when we can prove we don’t have diseases that are present in many other countries.
The Northern Australia Biosecurity Framework (NABF) encourages collaboration between communities, industries and governments to safeguard biosecurity into the future. The NABF:
- Develops and shares information on biosecurity prevention, detection and management, particularly on tropical plant and animal pests and diseases.
- Encourages cooperation between governments, agricultural industries and research institutions on tropical biosecurity.
- Share resources wherever possible to deliver timely and well-informed decisions about tropical biosecurity.
The NABF is guided by a Reference Group comprising senior representatives from Commonwealth, Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland governments, Plant Health Australia as well as Animal Health Australia. The involvement of scientists and communities, especially Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, play a key role in the success of the NABF.
The NABF helps to consolidate, inform and support existing biosecurity work by maintaining strong links to the Northern Agriculture Ministers Forum and the National Biosecurity Committee.
Made possible by recent investments by the Australian Government in biosecurity across northern Australia, the NABF builds on the Northern Australia Quarantine Strategy (NAQS) which was established in 1989 to undertake surveillance for exotic pests and diseases across northern Australia. The initiative expands existing collaboration to manage new and growing biosecurity risks in northern Australia. The new areas of work include:
- increased biosecurity work for Indigenous rangers
- more community information and engagement
- support for biosecurity surveillance in neighbouring countries
- improving collection, storage and reporting of tropical biosecurity data
- strengthening the diagnostic capacity for tropical biosecurity and
- expanding biosecurity surveillance in a number of areas including marine environments and Indian Ocean territories.