Biosecurity innovators gather in Canberra

8 March 2018

(Issued by Department of Agriculture)

Biosecurity stakeholders from across Australia and New Zealand will be joining forces in Canberra today to share ideas about innovative technologies and approaches to enhance each countries’ biosecurity system.

Head of biosecurity at the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Lyn O’Connell, said the inaugural Biosecurity Innovation Exchange was an opportunity for collaboration between two countries who are at the forefront of biosecurity.

“Australia has a strong, world-class biosecurity system, but increasing trade and passenger movements, as well as more complex supply chains, present some challenges,” Ms O’Connell said.

“Through innovation, science and research we can continue to be world leaders in biosecurity—and the best way for us to harness these opportunities is to collaborate with other countries who share our innovative biosecurity vision.

“Australia and New Zealand face similar biosecurity challenges and it is important that we effectively address these to ensure we can continue safeguarding our countries from pests and diseases.

“We value our relationship with our New Zealand counterparts and through the exchange we are working together to strengthen our biosecurity systems.”

Australia has already taken innovative steps to improve the nation’s biosecurity, with the Maritime Arrival Reporting System (MARS) streamlining biosecurity processes for international vessels and the Plant Innovation Centre boosting Australia’s capabilities to manage significant plant pest threats.

The exchange will include keynote presentations on innovation, the future of biosecurity in Australia and the New Zealand biosecurity innovation model. There will also be individual sessions themed around Australia’s National Biosecurity Research, Development and Extension Priorities, including data, intelligence and general surveillance and the innovative technologies and approaches that can help us to work smarter in these areas.

Attendees will include the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries, state and territory governments, the research sector and industry representatives from Australia and New Zealand.

To learn more about Australia’s biosecurity system, visit