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Victoria appoints first biosecurity reference group

Sheep Central, February 16, 2022

 

VICTORIA’S inaugural biosecurity reference group has been formed to ensure investments and activities are practical and relevant to industry and community.

Agriculture Victoria said 11 people with knowledge and skills in biosecurity operations, science and risk management, agriculture policy, citizen expertise and community engagement have been appointed to the Victorian Biosecurity Reference Group.

The group will meet for the first time on 28 March.

The biosecurity reference group members are:

  • Andrew MacLean, Landcare Victoria chief executive officer
  • David Reid, Nursery and Garden Industry Victoria policy and technical manager
  • Danyel Cucinotta, Victorian Farmers Federation vice president, Farmers Business and Regional Development Committee chair and third-generation egg farmer at LT’s Egg Farm
  • Gerald Leach, Victorian Rabbit Action Network chair, VFF Land Management Committee Chair and livestock and cropping farmer
  • Dr Hugh Millar, Victorian Division of the Australian Veterinary Association president
  • Liz Summerville, Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association Southern regional manager
  • Lyn Coulston OAM, Victorian Blackberry Taskforce chair and Upper Murray Landcare Network secretary
  • Jenny Treeby, Australian table grape industry development manager
  • Dr Jessica Lye, Citrus Australia national biosecurity manager
  • Dr Ron Glanville, Biosecurity Advisory Service principal consultant
  • Professor Tom Kompas, Centre of Excellence for Biosecurity Risk Analysis (University of Melbourne) chief investigator

The new group has been established as part of a Victorian Government’s $28 million program to strengthen the state’s biosecurity system.

Agriculture Victoria’s biosecurity services executive director Katherine Clift said it was encouraging to see the response to the call for biosecurity reference group nominees.

She said it demonstrated how invested industry and community members are in their desire to help contribute to a stronger biosecurity system for Victoria, and to be part of the process.

“Biosecurity is key to not only protecting our agriculture sector, but also our environment, biodiversity, cultural heritage, economy and way of life,” she said.

The reference group was established in response to calls from industry and the community to establish stronger partnerships with government on biosecurity and for more formal opportunities for non-government stakeholders to have input into decision-making, Agriculture Victoria said.

“Reference Group members will play an important role in providing feedback to Agriculture Victoria on proposed investments and activities to help ensure they are practical and relevant to industry and community,” Dr Clift said.

A further two members representing the aquaculture and grains sectors will be added soon.

Dr Clift said the establishment of the biosecurity reference group was an important step towards a stronger biosecurity system that can reduce, respond to and manage increasing biosecurity risks.

“The work of this group will ensure the system is better prepared, more adaptive, and resilient – ultimately protecting Victoria’s economy, environment, and people.

“Importantly, the biosecurity reference group will also ensure industry and community views continue to shape the future of biosecurity in Victoria.”

For more information about the group visit: www.agriculture.vic.gov.au/brg

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