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    Biosecurity Services executive director Katherine Clift.

AgLife: Call out to help shape Victoria’s biosecurity

Wimmera, Mallee and Grampians people and organisations can help shape Victoria’s biosecurity practices through an online survey.

Agriculture Victoria’s Understanding Victoria’s Biosecurity System Survey seeks to understand attitudes and knowledge of the state’s biosecurity system to improve how it prepares for and meets future biosecurity challenges.

Biosecurity Services executive director Katherine Clift said biosecurity played a big role in protecting the state’s economy, environment and way of life.

She encouraged farmers, businesses, industry groups and community members to contribute to the survey.

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“The agriculture sector contributes more than $14-billion to the Victorian economy, supporting essential food supply both here in Australia and overseas, and providing thousands of jobs,” she said.

“In 2020, six farms tested positive for three different strains of avian influenza in Victoria. This was the largest avian influenza outbreak recorded in Australia and the most significant biosecurity event in Victoria for the past 20 years, highlighting the importance of a strong biosecurity system. Timely, effective response is critical to rapid eradication of the disease, minimising the impacts on the poultry industry and maintaining the trust and confidence of consumers and trading partners.”

Throughout the past 20 years, Australia has responded to biosecurity incursions, including Varroa mite, citrus canker and equine influenza as well as prepared for threats such as foot and mouth disease and African swine fever, all of which can have a significant economic effect.

“Managing biosecurity risks is increasingly challenging, as international and interstate migration, climate change, tourism and increased movement of goods all contribute to the risk of new incursions,” Dr Clift said.

She said government, industry and community needed to work together to prepare for, and respond to, current and future biosecurity risks.

“Everyone has a part to play in protecting Victoria from the impacts of pests and diseases,” she said. 

“You can contribute to biosecurity by seeking advice when you see something unusual and reporting it, implementing good biosecurity measures in your business or on your property, working with your community to manage pests such as gorse, Queensland fruit fly or rabbits and practising good hygiene while travelling.

“These simple steps can help protect yourself and those around you, and keep our beautiful bush and bountiful farmland free from pests and diseases.

“Taking part in the survey lets you have your say on issues ranging from potential biosecurity threats and impacts, to where you like to get your information from and what could be improved.”

The survey results will be published online and will inform the development of future biosecurity policies.

“Your participation in the survey will help identify how we strengthen Victoria’s biosecurity system,” Dr Clift said.

This survey is part of the State Government’s $143-million investment into Strengthening Victoria’s Biosecurity System as part of the 2019-20 budget.

Dr Clift said the online survey took about 15 minutes to complete and closed on February 11.

People can complete the survey online at and visit for more information. 

The entire January 27, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire January 27, 2021 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!