26 November 2015
The Invasive Plants and Animals Committee (IPAC) met on 26 November 2015 and considered the following issues:
Exotic Weeds Incursion Agreement
The committee noted the update from the Exotic Weeds Incursion Agreement Taskforce consisting of members from the Australian, state and territory primary industry or environment departments, Animal Health Australia, Plant Health Australia, the cotton, sugar and grains industries and a university (environmental ecology studies). The draft national policy framework for responses to incursions of nationally significant exotic production weeds will be consulted with industry stakeholders over the next few months.
The committee noted the ongoing work of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources in managing the risks associated with e-commerce and discussed future tasks that need to be undertaken by each jurisdiction to address the illegal sales of invasive plants and animals through the internet.
Australian Weeds Strategy and Australian Pest Animal Strategy
The committee noted the progress with the revision of the Australian Weeds Strategy and Australian Pest Animal Strategy. The strategies will be released for public consultation in 2016.
Australian List of Threat Categories of Non-indigenous Vertebrates
IPAC approved an updated Australian List of Threat Categories of Non-indigenous Vertebrates in accordance with the Guidelines for the Import, Movement and Keeping of Non-indigenous Vertebrates in Australia. IPAC recognises that relevant State/Territory authorities may choose not to apply the Guideline’s risk management strategies for certain species such as widespread pest animals, livestock and common pets.
Governance Arrangements for Rabbit Haemorrhagic Virus Disease
The committee noted the ongoing progress with plans for release of RHDV K5 and longer term rabbit biocontrol strategies.
IPAC agreed to the listing of two aquatic weeds, Sagittaria platyphylla and Sagittaria calycina as target species for biological control. These weeds affect natural waterbodies and irrigation systems where control by other methods is challenging.
National Wild Dog Action Plan
The Committee noted the progress with implementing the National Wild Dog Action Plan. The Plan is regarded as a model for an integrated, coordinated response to pest animal management involving governments, industry, the community and landholders.
Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper
IPAC received an update from the Australian Government on implementation of the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper $50 million initiative to better manage established pest animals and weeds. State and territory governments play an important role in established pest animal and weed management, as well as programme delivery, and will be involved in the initiative.
IPAC Expert Groups
IPAC is supported by a number of technical groups to advise it on technical matters. These include the Weeds of National Significance Expert Group, the Weed Incursion and Containment Expert Group, the Vertebrate Pests Incursions Expert Group, the Research, Development and Extension (RD&E) Expert Group, the Freshwater Fish Expert Group and the Established Pest Animals of National Significance Task Group.
The committee noted updates on the activities of each of the Expert Groups. The update included finalisation of the Australian List of Threat Categories of Non-indigenous Vertebrates, progress on the application of the ornamental fish risk assessment tool and the development of key RD&E investment priorities for invasive plants and animals.
The members provided an update of activities in their jurisdictions including new biosecurity legislation, weed control, management of vertebrate pest animals (e.g. feral goats and cats and wild dogs) and pest animal control methods (e.g. pest canid ejectors and aerial shooting).
Upcoming IPAC meetings
The next IPAC meeting (IPAC5) will be a teleconference meeting proposed to be in early 2016.
The Invasive Plants and Animals Committee is a sectoral committee of the National Biosecurity Committee (NBC).
The committee provides advice to the NBC on weeds, vertebrate pest animals (including freshwater fish) and freshwater invertebrate pests.
For further information about the Invasive Plants and Animals Committee you can visit the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources website.