SURVEYS are currently underway in Papua New Guinea to help manage the risks of pests and diseases arriving in Australia.
Head of Biosecurity Operations at the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Nico Padovan, said the surveys were a key part of the Department’s work.
“PNG is in close proximity to the top end of Australia, so it is in the interest of both PNG and Australia to find and manage biosecurity pests and diseases,” Mr Padovan said.
“We work with our near neighbours to establish an ‘early warning’ mechanism for our priority plant pests and diseases, as well as those that could specifically affect crops in nearby northern Australia.”
The surveys are to run from February 18 to March 2 and are to be the first major plant and animal health survey of coastal eastern treaty villages in PNG in more than 17 years.
“Working with neighbouring countries to improve biosecurity surveillance and analysis will support both countries to better manage the risk of these and other pests and diseases,” Mr Padovan said.
The surveys are to be run by a team of staff from the Department’s Northern Australia Quarantine Strategy (NAQS) and Papua New Guinea’s National Agriculture Quarantine and Inspection Authority (NAQIA).
They are funded through the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper (ACWP).