A collaboration between PBRI and the Plant Health Committee was supported at the August PBRI Committee Meeting. Deputy Chair of Plant Health Committee, Dr Anne Walters emphasised the importance of this partnership in developing plant biosecurity research priorities together.

The Plant Health Committee have recently completed an analysis of the biosecurity system, under the Intergovernmental Agreement for Biosecurity, including jurisdictional capability audits. From these analyses, critical RD&E priorities have emerged that align to four of PBRI’s Key Focus Areas for investment.
They are:


  • Increase preparedness to prevent the damaging impact of pests and diseases. How do we learn from previous incursions?
  • The effects of climate change on plant biosecurity – how does climate change affect the behaviour and distribution of pests and what adjustments are needed to our policy settings in preparation?
  • Prioritisation of threats – which pests should be prioritised for future resource allocation and attention?

Industry Resilience

  • Stressors such as incursions have a cumulative impact on growers and industry members – how do we strengthen resilience?
  • Recovery from the damaging impacts of an incursion is often overlooked – how could we plan for recovery earlier, prior to an incursion?
  • Community and industry biosecurity engagement and incentivising biosecurity practices to improve the value placed on good biosecurity practices along the supply chain.

Sustainable Pest Management

  • Transitioning from an eradication strategy to containment or ongoing management – when and how to make decisions beyond eradication?

Capability Building

  • Capability development – succession planning, addressing gaps in expertise, RD&E to support capability required for a robust biosecurity system

The PBRI plays a role in supporting national plant health capability through research investments, which is an important part of the national biosecurity system.

Representatives from the PBRI and the Plant Health Committee will meet each quarter to exchange research priorities and to provide relevant updates.  Future research development will include consultation on proposed investments to ensure, where possible, coordination and collaboration of research occurs, across industries sectors and the state jurisdictions. A workshop will be held in November 2021, reviewing the Plant Health Committee priorities in collaboration with the new Plant Industry Biosecurity Committee and the PBRI.