Environment and Invasives Committee Meeting 5

24 February 2020

The Environment and Invasives Committee met on 24 February 2020 in Adelaide, South Australia.

Significant steps were made towards finalising a revised National Environmental Biosecurity Response Agreement (NEBRA) which establishes the national arrangements for responding to significant pest and disease incursions where there are predominantly public benefits. Following the NEBRA review undertaken in 2017 and public consultation in 2019, a revised NEBRA, subject to ministers’ approval, is expected to enter into operation later this year.

The Committee agreed wider consultation will be undertaken on a national framework for environmental biosecurity which is currently under development. Once complete, the framework will support a shared vision and coordinated approach to minimising the risk exotic pests, weeds and diseases pose to Australia’s environment and way of life.

The Committee agreed to provide an amended draft National Wild Dog Action Plan 2020-2030 to the National Biosecurity Committee for endorsement – thanking Mr Greg Mifsud, National Wild Dog Management Coordinator, and others for their efforts in generating this important second phase in managing the impacts of wild dogs.

Committee members met and welcomed the newly appointed National Feral Pig Management Coordinator, Dr Heather Channon, and noted the important role the coordinator will play in guiding a national approach to managing the impacts of feral pigs across Australia.

Members also discussed a number of other matters throughout the course of the meeting including:

  • pest and weed management in the wake of the recent largescale bushfires and the importance of coordinated management efforts
  • progress towards the development of the National Carp Control Plan, noting some
    on-going scientific work to be finalised
  • work being progressed by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences on a national approach to coordinating pest and weed distribution data
  • the future direction of Weeds of National Significance.

At its strategic workshop on 25 February 2020, the Committee agreed to the national list of exotic environmental pests, weeds and diseases, developed in response to a recommendation of 2017 review of the national biosecurity system being finalised and discussed proposed uses of the list.

The Committee will next meet in Queensland in mid-2020 if COVID-19 precautions permit, or if not able then by videoconference.

For any questions or suggestions regarding this communique, please email the EIC Secretariat at eic@agriculture.gov.au.

The Environment and Invasives Committee is responsible for providing national policy leadership on the identification, prevention and management of invasive plant, vertebrate and invertebrate species that adversely impact the environment, economy and community.

The Committee provides a national mechanism for identification and resolution of national priorities on freshwater aquatic and terrestrial invasive species and any other species where there is an environmental or community biosecurity impact where it is found not to be the responsibility of any other sectoral committee.

For further information on the Environment and Invasives Committee, you can visit the Committee’s website, hosted by the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.

Last reviewed: 3 November 2020
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