Inaugural Chief Environmental Biosecurity Officer appointment announced

4 October 2018

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has today appointed Ian Thompson as Australia’s inaugural Chief Environmental Biosecurity Officer (CEBO).

The Australian Government announced the establishment of the role within the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources on 29 June 2018, which includes an ongoing annual project fund of $825,000.

Secretary of the department, Daryl Quinlivan, said Mr Thompson has extensive experience and understanding in this area, and holds the strong networks and relationships in the environment and natural resources management community required for success.

“The CEBO will be the primary representative and advisor to the Australian Government on all matters relating to Australia’s environmental biosecurity risks,” Mr Quinlivan said

“Mr Thompson was previously the First Assistant Secretary of the Sustainable Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Division within the department, which included responsibility for the National Landcare Programme, along with community and Indigenous engagement.

“A dedicated office will be established to support the CEBO and to oversee the delivery of an $825,000 a year project fund to drive investment in building environmental biosecurity capability and capacity.

“Mr Thompson will work to strengthen engagement with community and environmental groups, including on their role in biosecurity and how they can contribute to the national biosecurity system.

“The role will require a close working relationship with the Department of Environment and Energy, as well as the Threatened Species Commissioner.”

Mr Thompson’s first public appearance as the CEBO will be at the Environmental Biosecurity Roundtable on 9 October 2018 in Brisbane.

The key objectives of the CEBO role are to:

  • enhance understanding and oversight of environmental biosecurity risks
  • perform a national policy, engagement and leadership role
  • ensure that Australia’s environmental and community biosecurity risks are better defined and prioritised
  • improve the maturity of Australia’s environmental biosecurity preparedness, surveillance and response capacity.

Further information on the Environmental Biosecurity Roundtable, including registration to attend.

The CEBO may also be contacted at ACEBO.