Tasmania Biosecurity Roundtable 7 June 2018

​​Publication details

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, June 2018


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The 2018 Tasmania Biosecurity Roundtable was held in Hobart, on 7 June 2018.

What we heard from participants

  • Good relationships and trust between industry and government are vital, particularly when responding to biosecurity issues
  • Improved assessment of preparedness, including resources & communication planning; ensuring the delivery of harmonised information is critical
  • Maintenance of market access and the development of new protocols and technologies is integral to support both import and export
  • Greater resourcing and engagement with local government and NRMs will assist in both biosecurity planning and incident response activities

The event was hosted by the National Biosecurity Committee together with the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and Biosecurity Tasmania, Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE).

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The 2018 Biosecurity Roundtable Program

The Biosecurity Roundtable Program consists of seven biosecurity roundtables in each state and territory (NSW and ACT are combined), two environmental biosecurity roundtables and a National Biosecurity Forum at the end of the year.

These events are an opportunity for biosecurity stakeholders to talk about biosecurity issues directly with Australian and state/territory government representatives, a wide range of industry members and producers together with environmental and community groups.

This year the theme for the program is ‘preparedness and response’, with activities on the day designed to seek input on:

  • preparedness and response arrangements across a range of biosecurity activities
  • gaps and possible solutions
  • roles and responsibilities in preparedness and response
  • successes and lessons learned
  • trusted sources of information on biosecurity


Jo Laduzko, Assistant Secretary, Biosecurity Policy and Response Branch, Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources opened the roundtable, outlining the day’s focus on participation and opportunities to meet colleagues across industry, community and government.

Commonwealth update

Ms Laduzko delivered the Commonwealth Update, emphasising the benefits of the roundtables for sharing expertise, lessons learned and working together to improve the biosecurity system. She highlighted key activities of the department including continuing the momentum of the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper investment and responding to the recommendations in the Priorities for Australia’s Biosecurity system review report (2017) through activities such as:

  • finalisation of emergency response deeds for aquatic animals and exotic production weeds
  • supporting the development of a National Biosecurity Statement
  • developing a priority list for environmental pests and diseases
  • establishment of Industry and Community Reference Group under the National Biosecurity Committee
  • introduction of the Biosecurity Matters website, and distribution of public engagement material featuring ‘Jeff’. 

State updates

Three areas from Biosecurity Tasmania provided updates on current and planned activities.

1. Animal biosecurity

Rod Andrewartha, Chief Veterinary Officer and Manager, Animal Biosecurity and Animal Welfare Branch provided an overview of the structure of the branch and areas of responsibility including risk management of animal and animal products imports, effective systems of detection and response to emergency animal diseases, management of public health outcomes, research, diagnostic and response work and development and implementation of animal welfare measures. 

Dr Andrewartha outlined work undertaken by the Centre of Aquatic Animal Health and Vaccines (co-funded by DPIPWE and the Tasmanian Salmonoid Growers’ Association) developing diagnostic tools and vaccines for salmonoid pathogens, Pilchard orthomyxovirus (POMV) and other significant marine pathogens. Industry is also being assisted by Biosecurity Tasmania to manage Pacific oyster mortality syndrome (POMS).

Animal Biosecurity is moving focus toward verification of disease status which underpins export certification whilst maintaining the ability to respond to emergency animal disease when necessary. Ongoing work includes the management of significant public diseases including hydatids, salmonella, and the potential impact of Taenia cysticercosis (tapeworms) with the use of biosolids on pastures.

2. Plant biosecurity

Peter Cross, Acting Chief Plant Health Manager and Manager, Plant Biosecurity and Diagnostics Branch outlined the objectives of the branch including providing plant health diagnostic services, maintaining and developing response and recovery capacities around plant biosecurity emergencies and plant biosecurity pest surveillance programs, leading the implementation of plant biosecurity information management systems and representing Tasmania’s interests.  

Key issues for the branch in 2018 have included developing a new state surveillance strategy, the LabWare (LIMS) rollout, and implementing a containment plan for Blueberry Rust which is now considered not eradicable. ‘Pest Free Place of Production’ documentation has also been developed to provide non-affected growers with market access.
Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF) has been a major focus in 2018, with treatments wound down over winter. The response and contingency planning will remain in place in case of a re-emergence in spring. The branch was also involved in market access maintenance, both for fruit from control and non-quarantined areas, including fruit treatment processes. Ensuring pest-free status remains is vital in keeping markets available.

Both incursions have highlighted the importance of consistent messaging from industry and government.

3. Invasive species

Michael Askey-Doran, Manager Invasive Species Branch, discussed the current priorities of the branch which are focused around compliance, legislation, incursion prevention and response, and established pest management. Development of the new Tasmanian Biosecurity Act will include weed, vertebrate pest species such as rabbits and feral cats. Feral cats are also the subject of a research project on Bruny Island as well as a public campaign on responsible cat ownership on the Island.

High risk invasive species of concern include the red fox, common myna, giant hogweed, and red eared slider turtle. Current priority control programs include Chilean needle grass, Bathurst burr and meadow parsley with a focus on containment and hoped eradication.

A new strain of calici virus is being released in Tasmania, as in other jurisdictions - RHDV1-K5. The impact of RHDV1-K5 is still being assessed. Coinciding with the release of RHDV1-K5 is the incursion of a new calici virus RHDV2. Biosecurity Tasmania sees this as an opportunity for additional rabbit control and abatement provided to land owners by commercial operators.

Work in the marine sector includes the development of a POMS vaccine and techniques which will improve early detection and response.

How do the emergency response deeds work?

Claire Hollis, Response Policy Section, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources provided an overview of Australia’s national emergency response deeds and agreements, which include the Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement (EADRA), the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed (EPPRD) and the National Environmental Biosecurity Response Agreement (NEBRA). Ms Hollis explained the purpose of the deeds, the triggers and decision making processes, and the ability for industries to access response funds under the deeds and reimburse the Commonwealth Government through levies over time. The national deeds/agreements complement industry and state arrangements as they are only activated in circumstances where eradication of a pest or disease is:

  • technically feasible
  • cost beneficial, and
  • in the national interest

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources is currently leading development of an Exotic Production Weed Deed and Aquatic Animal Deed. 


National Biosecurity Statement

Tasmania’s National Biosecurity Committee (NBC) representative and General Manager Biosecurity Tasmania, Lloyd Klumpp, introduced the National Biosecurity Statement (NBS), which is being developed with industry, environmental and community groups and the public.

Mr Klumpp stated that a national biosecurity statement was intended to foster community-wide understanding and ownership of Australia’s biosecurity system, providing a common understanding, shared goals, principles, roles and responsibilities, and accountability.

Mr Klumpp then led table based exercises on the roles and responsibilities component of the statement. He asked participants to discuss their roles in the biosecurity system and in improving its efficiency, the concept of stewardship, the roles and responsibilities of major institutions, the benefits of an agreed set of roles and responsibilities for system participants and how we can measure if they are meeting these obligations.

Feedback on the draft statement was constructive on the day, with specific suggestions received regarding the design and layout of the statement, as well as how the department can continue the conversation with stakeholders throughout the engagement process. Common themes of building awareness within the community, improving communication channels and providing consistency and clarification of roles and responsibilities within the biosecurity system were also discussed.

Public consultation on the National Biosecurity Statement is now open via Have Your Say on the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources’ website – see below for further information on how you can get involved.

Preparedness and response

Lara Martin, Assistant Director, Industry and Community Engagement section, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources facilitated this workshop which set out to discuss, share and analyse preparedness and response knowledge across the biosecurity space.

The discussions and notes from the workshop are expected to assist in the development of policy and resources, improve the understanding of other sectors’ roles and support the maturity of the response to the public consultation around the national biosecurity statement.

Six tables were given table topics—anticipate, prevent, prepare, detect, respond and recover/adapt—and asked to discuss and note on table worksheets the activities, roles and processes currently in place relating to their table topic as well as emerging issues.

They were then asked to identify six key activities, plans or policies to report back on to the room and add to a wall chart. This provided a quick and visually striking representation of role and responsibility allocation on the day.

The figure below shows a breakdown by topic and responsible sector of all the activities, plans or policies that participants noted from both the wall chart and the table worksheets. In some cases, the same point repeats across sectors as the responsibility was seen as shared. If no activities, plans or policies were recorded for a sector, it is shown as blank.

As the responses to this exercise are affected by the table groups, and who was present at the meeting, this is not a representative snapshot of biosecurity knowledge in Tasmania. It does however show that participants see the state government as primarily responsible for a broad range of biosecurity activities.

Community, environmental and research groups appear to be either underutilised or under-represented as active system participants. Alternatively, the roles of these groups were poorly understood or recognised by those in the room.



Panel: Roles and responsibilities

Chaired by Jo Laduzko, a panel of Claire Hollis, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Lloyd Klumpp, General Manager Biosecurity Tasmania, Nic Hansen, Chair of Fruit Growers Tasmania and Richard Ingham representing NRM South gave short presentations on their roles and responsibilities and overviews on current biosecurity activities. 

Nic Hansen from Fruit Growers Tasmania raised concerns about the poor industry representation at the meeting, stating that preparedness and response can only work if industry is fully engaged with government. Ms Ladzuko acknowledged that this has been raised at previous meetings, and noted over 74 organisations or individuals were invited (see list as below). Suggestions from the floor to improve this included industry organising the meeting and invitee process.

Mr Hansen also raised that his organisation had believed they were well prepared for a QFF incursion – fortunately they were able to embed an industry leader as a key part of overall response, working with Biosecurity Tasmania very closely. They would now score their pre-incursion preparedness as 2/10; with experience and the preparedness building they have undertaken, their current rating as 6/10.

Richard Ingham representing NRM South explained the work the NRMs perform without regulatory functions or ownership or management of land. All of the work done by NRMs is done in partnership with other organisations, landowners, producers, based on strong networks and trust whilst working with key industries and sectors in Tasmania.

Active monitoring programs in terrestrial and marine environments are a key element of preventing biosecurity incursions. As NRMs are not government agencies but are embedded in local communities, they are significant spaces for early detection without fear about potential repercussions. Supported by their extensive data and mapping services, pro-active community education programs and best practice and well distributed skill sets, they are able to quickly and effectively put expertise and resources into place, develop communication strategies and support community, drawing on knowledge from the local to national level.

Lloyd Klumpp described the work of Biosecurity Tasmania as a dual role – decision maker and on the ground facilitator as they have national responsibilities such as under the deeds, and state specific requirements and responsibilities. This work can only be achieved with the appropriate staff and skill sets, infrastructure, policies and is heavily reliant on a network of robust relationships across industries and the community.

In the example of QFF, relationships were critical to the response. Work to build relationships and joint understanding between government, industry and community must be done to build a system all players have trust in. Major gains have been achieved with QFF, with significant lessons learnt from the community including refining of technical responses and communication, and minimising implications on industry. Effective community engagement helped implement the response and has improved preparedness for the next incursion. Preparedness and trust-building needs to continue with the refinement of response plans and performance structures, and critically to continue to establish and build relationships.

The panel session was then opened to questions and comments from the floor.

It was raised that local government has roles in all aspects of biosecurity, including its key role as a communicator with local community, but that it may be limited by resourcing. Mr Lloyd responded, agreeing that local government has a critical role, but that they are engaged with late, rather than as part of prior planning and relationship building. The QFF incursion demonstrated the importance of local government and the need to build information, education and training capacities between industry, community and all levels of government. Ms Ladzuko also commented that the Commonwealth acknowledges that engagement will need to broaden as biosecurity issues become more complex.

A question was asked about current planning for a Tasmanian irradiation plant. Mr Hansen commented that he thought it unlikely a plant will be built in the next 10 years, but Mr Klumpp noted that Tasmania has a regulatory structure in place that allows for the use of Melbourne based irradiation facilities coupled with compliant commercial biosecurity transport arrangements for Tasmanian fruit growers and apiarists. It was noted that irradiation is not a high priority for hard vegetable growers.

The issue of poor promotion of the roundtable was raised, with little publicity around the event. Discussion across the room suggested there may be value in appointing an industry body to organise the meeting, or to subcontract out the meeting arrangements to a third party with the relevant connections such as Vegnet. It was also noted that there was a lack of biosecurity information as well as successful interception news stories in the mainstream media. Ms Ladzuko acknowledged that industry engagement and promotion of the roundtables has been an issue, but asked that if each attendee reached out to colleagues, neighbours and other industry members, that can be very effective.

Mr Hansen gave the example of Fruit Growers Tasmania making attendance at biosecurity training events mandatory which could also be extended to the biosecurity roundtables. The use of social media to promote the roundtables was also raised with industry bodies commenting that their communications were increasingly being delivered via these platform.

Other issues raised were the need to ensure the benefits and outcomes from attending the roundtable were clear in the invitation as potential attendees were often giving up a day of their own time to attend. As invitations are issued to organisations, there is also a need for organisations to internally manage attendance and meeting reports out to their members more effectively. Ms Laduzko asked for any contact names or organisations who should be invited to be sent to biosecurityroundtable@agriculture.gov.au or for participants to contact their Biosecurity Tasmania contacts. A list of all invitees for the 2018 Tasmania Biosecurity Roundtable is below.

A number of requests were also made to hold the meeting in regional locations throughout the state, and for the utilisation of streaming or webinar facilities to be explored, such as those available via the campuses of the University of Tasmania in Launceston, Burnie and Hobart.

Closing remarks were presented by Mr Klumpp who commented that the roundtable model is important as it provides a platform for discussion and communication between national, state and local governments, industry, environment and community groups, however they are a work in progress and there will be continued efforts to build and mature the events.

An important aspect of this is for the roundtable discussions and comments to be taken on-board, noted and implemented or further developed. Mr Klumpp thanked all attendees on behalf of the DPIPWE and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and the NBC for their time, engagement and ideas.

Biosecurity Information Survey

Thank you to participants who completed the biosecurity information survey.

Initial analysis of the completed surveys highlighted the primary role of industry groups or associations and the state government as sources of biosecurity information. Twenty one per cent of respondents access information via emails or newsletters, with twenty one per cent also using face to face contact and only 1.8 per cent accessing information sent by post.

During discussions participants raised the need to create and maintain a network of trust which encourages biosecurity issue reporting; there was a strong consensus that this is best achieved by face to face engagement. Sources of biosecurity information was also discussed, with industry groups or representatives seen as more effective and trusted than any other source. Traceability and understanding the significance of the information is also essential. Success is only achieved with buy in.

Communication also needs to encompass the use of technologies and notification processes which shorten detection to producer notification times (such as the Smart Trap Hive initiative). The success of myrtle rust identification and eradication in the North West was based on early and easy access to relevant information, with media and local authorities an essential part of that. Again, the importance of face to face engagement shouldn’t be underestimated.

Participants argued that the QFF incursion provided an example of a successful response – a coordinated campaign using a range of traditional and social media platforms including street posters and demonstrations at Agfest saw a huge public response with over 160 samples submitted for testing, with a number of the confirmed reports coming from public responses.  By informing members of the public, and ensuring that there was harmonisation of comment from industry and government, identifying and combating the problem is more achievable.

Full results will be reported on at the National Biosecurity Forum in November 2018.

The survey is available for organisations or industry bodies to run with their own members – please contact the Biosecurity Roundtable Secretariat and we will email templates to you biosecurityroundtable@agriculture.gov.au or phone 1800 068 468.


Seventy two invitations were sent out to organisations, groups or individuals (excluding state and Commonwealth government staff), with 34 participants (in bold) taking part in the roundtable, representing a wide range of organisations including:

  • Agility Logistics
  • Animal Health Australia
  • Artec Pty Ltd
  • Australian Alpaca Association – Tasmania Region
  • Australian Honey Bee Industry Council
  • Australian Honey Products
  • Australian Plants Society Tasmania
  • Australian Pome Fruit Improvement Program
  • Australian Veterinary Association - National
  • Australian Veterinary Association - Australian Cattle Veterinarians Special Interest Group
  • Australian Veterinary Association - Tasmanian Division
  • BirdLife Tasmania
  • Brand Tasmania Council
  • Centre for Tasmanian Industry
  • Cherry Growers Australia – Tasmania branch
  • Kevin Clayton-Greene (consultant)
  • Cradle Coast Authority
  • Dairy Goat Society of Australia - Tasmanian Branch
  • Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
  • Biosecurity Tasmania, Department of Primary Industries and Parks, Water and Environment
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Forest Industries Association of Tasmania
  • Forico Pty Ltd
  • Fruit Growers Tasmania
  • Hansen Orchards
  • Hort Innovation
  • Huon Aquaculture
  • Landcare Australia
  • Livestock Biosecurity Network
  • Local Government Association of Tasmania
  • Meat & Livestock Australia
  • Mohair Australia - Tasmanian Division
  • Mossvale Alpacas
  • NRM North
  • NRM South
  • Nursery and Garden Industry Australia
  • Nyrstar
  • Oysters Tasmania
  • Petuna Aquaculture
  • Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre
  • Plant Health Australia
  • Poppy Growers Tasmania
  • Primary Industries Biosecurity Action Alliance
  • Private Forestry Tasmania
  • Scallop Fishermen's Association of Tasmania
  • Shellfish Culture Limited
  • Springfield Hatcheries
  • Stefano Lubiana Wines
  • Stephens, R
  • TARFish
  • Tasmania Feedlot Pty Ltd
  • Tasmanian Abalone Council Ltd
  • Tasmanian Agriculture Productivity Group
  • Tasmanian Beekeepers Association
  • Tasmanian Biosecurity Network
  • Tasmanian Conservation Trust
  • Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association
  • Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association Meat Council
  • Tasmanian Freight Logistics Council
  • Tasmanian Fruit and Vegetable Export Facilitation Group
  • Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
  • Tasmanian Land Conservancy
  • Tasmanian Logistics Committee
  • Tasmanian National Parks Association
  • Tasmanian NLIS Committee
  • Tasmanian Nursery and Garden Industry Association
  • Tasmanian Olive Council
  • Tasmanian Salmonid Growers Association
  • Tasmanian Seafood Industry Council
  • Tasmanian Shipping Supplies
  • Tassal Operations
  • Tourism Industry Council Tasmania
  • Wildlife Health Australia
  • Wine Tasmania

Consultation is now open on the National Biosecurity Statement

A draft National Biosecurity Statement is available for public consultation on the Have Your Say platform on the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources website​.

Stakeholder feedback is vital to producing a National Biosecurity Statement that we can all hold up as core to our mutual commitment to a national biosecurity system.

Feedback on the statement is welcome at any time throughout the process. We welcome organisations and communities undertaking their own consultation internally and reporting back their findings for consideration. To assist in this process, the department has developed a consultation toolkit, which is available electronically to those interested. Feedback can also be sent directly to biosecurityconsultation@agriculture.gov.au. Consultation closes 31 October 2018.

What is a National Biosecurity Statement?

The statement will present a common and unifying approach to biosecurity for all system participants, articulating:

  • a national vision and goals
  • roles and responsibilities
  • priorities and principles for managing biosecurity risk.

Consultation principles

  • Participation: all have an important role to play within the biosecurity system.
  • Shared responsibility (or stewardship): everyone takes responsibility for biosecurity matters within their control. Everyone has an obligation to take action to protect Australia from pests and diseases.
  • Openness and transparency: gathering a wide range of views to develop a unifying statement, which establishes a common understanding of biosecurity, shared responsibility and Australia’s approach to managing this risk.

Next steps

Consultation on the statement will continue throughout the year at state and territory biosecurity roundtables and environmental biosecurity roundtables, as well as Animal Health Australia and Plant Health Australia member forums.

A final statement, incorporating feedback received throughout the consultation period, will be presented to stakeholders for endorsement at the 2018 National Biosecurity Forum on 29 November.

For background on the development of the statement.

Tasmania biosecurity roundtable agenda





Item 1
Welcome and Commonwealth update

Facilitator/presenter: Jo Laduzko, Assistant Secretary, Biosecurity Policy & Implementation, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources


Item 2
Update and Workshop One:
National Biosecurity Statement and Roles and Responsibilities

Lloyd Klumpp, General Manager, Biosecurity Tasmania


Item 3
Biosecurity Tasmania programs update:

  • Animal Biosecurity
  • Plant Biosecurity
  • Invasive Species

Rod Andrewartha, Chief Veterinary Officer & Manager Animal Biosecurity and Animal Welfare Branch, Biosecurity Tasmania
Peter Cross, Acting Chief Plant Health Manager and Manager, Plant Biosecurity and Diagnostics Branch, Biosecurity Tasmania
Michael Askey-Doran, Manager Invasive Species Branch, Biosecurity Tasmania


Item 4: Morning tea


10:55 -11:25

Item 5
Workshop Two:
Topic: Information and advice source
Survey with table discussion

Facilitator: Jo Laduzko, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources

11:25 – 1:05

Item 6
Workshop Three:
Topic: Preparedness and Response
Table based exercises 

Facilitator: Lara Martin, Industry & Community Engagement Section, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources


Item 7: Lunch



Item 8
How do the emergency response deeds work?

Claire Hollis, Responses Branch, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources


Item 9
Panel: Roles and responsibilities
• Introduction to panel & outcomes
• Commonwealth role in preparedness/ response
• State role in preparedness/ response
• Industry org role in preparedness/ response
• Environmental org role in preparedness/ response
• Questions to panel

Jo Laduzko, Department of Agriculture & Water Resources
Commonwealth representative: To be confirmed
Lloyd Klumpp, General Manager, Biosecurity Tasmania
Nic Hansen, Cherries Australia and President, Fruit Growers Tasmania
Richard Ingram, Acting Manager, NRM South


Item 10
Closing remarks

Lloyd Klumpp, Biosecurity Tasmania and  Jo Laduzko, Department of Agriculture & Water Resources


Item 11: Afternoon tea


2018 Biosecurity Roundtable Program Calendar




11 April 2018

South Australia Biosecurity Roundtable


3 May 2018

Environmental Biosecurity Roundtable 1


7 June 2018

Tasmania Biosecurity Roundtable


4 July 2018

Western Australia Biosecurity Roundtable


2 August 2018

Victoria Biosecurity Roundtable


30 August 2018

New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory Biosecurity Roundtable


26 September 2018

Northern Territory Biosecurity Roundtable


9 October 2018

Environmental Biosecurity Roundtable 2


11 October 2018

Queensland Biosecurity Roundtable


29 November 2018

National Biosecurity Forum


Next steps...

The Commonwealth Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and Biosecurity Tasmania, Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment would like to thank everyone who participated in the Tasmania Biosecurity Roundtable for their time and contributions. The discussions and ideas from the Roundtable will feed into the agenda for the National Biosecurity Forum and other biosecurity governance and communication processes through the NBC and other avenues.

We value your feedback – if you have suggestions about this roundtable or the roundtable program please contact us at biosecurityroundtable@agriculture.gov.au.

Phone 1800 068 468
Facebook: Australian biosecurity
Twitter: @DeptAgNews
Subscribe to Biosecurity Matters, a bi-monthly online newsletter providing readers with a greater understanding of the department's work in managing biosecurity risks overseas, at the border and within Australia. 

Last reviewed: 30 September 2020
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