News and media

See our latest news and announcements. Discover more about what we do.

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We are a new department. You can still access media releases and our online channels from before we merged.

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Friday, 15 January 2021

The discovery of a racing pigeon in an Australian backyard tagged with what appears to be a US identification is currently being investigated by biosecurity officers from the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.

Birds arriving from outside Australia can carry a range of diseases of concern for domestic birds—including our $3.7 billion poultry industry, pet birds as well as our unique native birdlife.

Monday, 21 December 2020

One of Canberra’s last standing public service cafeterias has become the 389th place to be included on the Commonwealth Heritage List.

The West Portal Cafeteria on Constitution Avenue in Reid is a rare example of a bygone era in Canberra’s history, a time when public service officers could take a break from national administration to dine on roast beef sandwiches, sausage rolls and scones in purpose-built spaces.

Tagged with: Heritage
Friday, 18 December 2020
Evidence-based agricultural, water, and environmental policy received an important boost today with the signing of a new strategic partnership between the department and Charles Sturt University.
Tagged with: Awareness
Wednesday, 16 December 2020

The independent panel has released its draft report on the review of Australia’s agricultural and veterinary (agvet) chemicals regulatory system.  Public comments are invited by 26 February 2021.

Ensuring farmers have access to agvet chemicals that are both safe and effective is crucial to our agricultural and livestock industries, the community and the environment.

The panel’s draft recommendations strengthen the identity, vision and leadership of agvet chemicals regulation, and provide for a regulatory system fit for the next 30 years.

Tagged with: Consultation
Tuesday, 15 December 2020
Despite a global increase in khapra beetle detections at international borders, the strength of our biosecurity system means Australia maintains freedom from this serious pest.
Monday, 14 December 2020

A two-year joint investigation into illegal wildlife trade by the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, the NSW Police Force and the NSW Department of Planning has resulted in the sentencing of a 26-year-old Western Sydney man to 3 years imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 18 months.

Environmental crime investigators and police executed a search warrant at a Western Sydney address in May 2019, where they seized various native reptiles, some of which were bound for China.

Thursday, 10 December 2020

45,000 risky seed parcels have been intercepted at Australia’s international mail centres in 2020, while reports of unsolicited seeds being received through the mail have also continued.

Acting Chief Plant Protection Officer, Dr Gabrielle Vivian-Smith, said the large volume of seed parcels were intercepted as they did not meet biosecurity conditions.

“Seeds are most commonly intercepted biosecurity risk item at our mail centres and this year they made up 75 per cent of the total interceptions though the mail,” Dr Vivian-Smith said.

Tagged with: Biosecurity
Wednesday, 9 December 2020

A new legislative framework for agricultural exports commencing from 28 March 2021 will consist of the Export Control Act 2020 and a suite of legislative instruments, the Export Control Rules 2020 (the Rules).

The Rules set out the operational details for regulating the exports of commodities and are based on the existing commodity orders.

This is part of a wider initiative to strengthen Australia’s agricultural exports and market access - and making export processes easier to understand and comply with.

Thursday, 3 December 2020

Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment veterinarian and epidemiologist, Dr Rachel Iglesias has today been named one of Australia’s official Superstars of STEM.

Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Mark Schipp congratulated Rachel as one of 60 brilliant women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics stepping into the spotlight for this acclaimed national program.

Tagged with: Animals, Biosecurity
Thursday, 3 December 2020

Research conducted under the Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Program (NESP) has revealed that feral cats can cost the agriculture industry up to $12 million each year.

The study shows that feral felines are passing on parasites such as Toxoplasma and Sarcocystis to livestock and poultry, with devastating consequences for sheep and goats.