Chief Environmental Biosecurity Officer

Australia is taking the lead on environmental biosecurity with the appointment of Ian Thompson as Australia’s first Chief Environmental Biosecurity Officer (CEBO) in October 2018. He is the primary representative and advisor to the Australian Government on environmental biosecurity risks.

The CEBO’s role is to raise awareness and understanding of environmental biosecurity and builds government, community and industry capacity to reduce environmental biosecurity risks by:

  • 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 and key threats to endangered species and ecosystems from invasive species and diseases
  • 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, and
  • 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, and
    • encourage increased and better coordinated research

The CEBO also participates in a number of key national bodies:

Building Australia’s environmental biosecurity capacity

The CEBO will work to building Australia’s environment biosecurity capacity by:

Strengthening environmental biosecurity management

The CEBO will work to strengthening Australia’s environmental biosecurity management by:

Developing networks and knowledge sharing

The CEBO will work to develop biosecurity networks and knowledge sharing by:

About Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson started as Australia’s Chief Environmental Biosecurity Officer in October 2018.  He was previously head of the Sustainable Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Division in the Department of Agriculture with responsibility for community and Indigenous engagement, as well as fisheries, forestry, AgVet chemicals and the National Landcare Programme.

Ian’s previous experience has been in:

  • biosecurity policy and emergency response
  • plant industry policy
  • drought management
  • rural adjustment
  • rural leadership
  • water reform. 

This is a national leadership role like the:

Media statement

Inaugural Chief Environmental Biosecurity Officer appointment announced.

Last reviewed: 30 September 2020
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