Greater Sydney leading the way in biosecurity
25 Oct 2017
“Greater Sydney is the highest biosecurity risk region in NSW, due to the high number of international travellers and freight, the high density of small holdings and its function as a gateway to the State,” Mr Christie said.
“DPI and Greater Sydney Local Land Services developed the Greater Sydney Peri-Urban Program to mitigate the biosecurity risks specific to the region, and this forum is part of that program.
“We believe that this collaboration with industry groups – all of whom have an important role to play in protecting our State from disease and pest incursions – will help strengthen our biosecurity programs.
“These networks will be pivotal in the case of a biosecurity emergency and when community surveillance is needed.”
Port Botany is a key focus for the Greater Sydney Peri-Urban Program, as it is the highest risk location for the introduction or spread of disease and pests due to the international ports and movement of freight in the area.
The detection of equine influenza in Sydney in 2007 and the discovery of red imported red fire ants at Port Botany in November 2014 are evidence of this.
Mr Christie said in this sort of emergency situation, to be able to call on informed, engaged community groups in the Port Botany region will help ensure a rapid and successful eradication of incursions.
“Staff from the program are working closely with port surveillance staff from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources to improve surveillance around the Port Botany area, including identifying high priority pests and streamlining baiting and trapping around ports,” Mr Christie said.
“They are also educating and training community groups around Port Botany to detect pests and diseases to improve the likelihood that a new pest or disease is detected and dealt with quickly.
“Effective biosecurity is everyone’s business – it’s the shared responsibility of Government, industry and individuals.