Biosecurity: International Dimensions, Threats and Strategies

July 17, 2014

Ganesh-PantA plea for continued government and industry commitment and support for our biosecurity system was made by the Crawford Fund Board Member, Dr Tony Gregson, who is chairman of Plant Health Australia.

“It is absolutely essential if we are to maintain a food secure world,” said Dr Gregson to the Rural Press Club Victoria breakfast forum “Biosecurity: International Threats and Strategies” on 18 July in Melbourne.

Tony Gregson
Tony Gregson

The forum involved Dr Gregson, a farmer in the Wimmera with extensive science and corporate research management background; Dr Nick Austin, the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, which funds significant biosecurity research and projects in our region and Dr Peter Daniels, Deputy Director at CSIRO’s Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL).

Important, ongoing work at home and  in our region was highlighted at the well-attended breakfast that was organized as of our ongoing effort to raise awareness of the benefits to Australia from aid-funded international agricultural research after the launch of our “Doing Well by Doing Good” Report.

Dr Gregson highlighted examples of the Fund’s training activities in Victoria, to show the diversity of our focus and the range of our partners in Victoria, including:

  • The Asian citrus psyllid, which causes destructive Citrus Greening – a focus for Fund training
    The Asian citrus psyllid, which causes destructive Citrus Greening – a focus for Fund training

    With AAHL in Geelong we’ve trained scientists in animal diseases such as rabies.

  • With Melbourne Uni’s old School of Land and Environment we’ve had several training programs in plant pathology issues for a range of crops such as chilli and papaya.
  • With DEPI we have helped to resurrect the peach industry in the Swat valley in Pakistan and to better understand fruit fly management.
  • With NGOs, Rotary and private sector partners we’ve had several land care projects in Africa and the South Pacific.
  • With Holmsglen TAFE and Melbourne Uni, young traditional wood workers from Indonesia have been trained in modern furniture design and construction to allow them to become more internationally competitive.
  • With CSIRO, we have supported the publication of four books by John Moran from DEPI on many aspects of the dairy industry in Asia.

Dr Gregson’s address is available here and a brochure on the work of the Victorian Committee is available here.

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