​Media Release

Australia elected Vice-Chair of the International Plant Protection Convention

4 August 2015

Australia's world-class expertise in plant health issues and standard-setting has been acknowledged with the election of senior Department of Agriculture official, Lois Ransom, as Vice-Chair of the governing body of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). 

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said Ms Ransom's election as Vice-Chair recognised the valuable contribution Australian expertise and engagement made to this important international forum. 

"Our involvement in the IPPC is important in supporting international trade in plant products, while also protecting our industries and the Australian community from the spread or introduction of plant pests and diseases," Minister Joyce said. 

"This helps us maintain our enviable biosecurity status, which underpins our reputation as a reliable supplier of clean, green agricultural exports, as well as our unique environment and biodiversity. 

"Australia will now be in an even stronger position to contribute to this work, with a number of other experts from the Department of Agriculture elected to other IPPC specialist roles, including Dr Jan Bart Rossel as Chair of the Standards Committee, Peter Neimanis as a member of the Electronic Phytosanitary Certification Working Group, and Glenn Bowman and Mathew Smyth as members of the Technical Panel on Phytosanitary Treatments. Our Chief Plant Protection Officer, Dr Kim Ritman, will continue as head of Australia's delegation to the IPPC. 

"The IPPC sets science-based health standards to support international trade in plants and plant products, and also fosters cooperation between nations in protecting the world's plant resources from pests and diseases. 

"It is in the interests of our producers that Australia has a strong voice in the IPPC. For example, our leading role in the development of a global electronic phytosanitary certification mechanism and plant health standards such as cold treatments standards recently adopted for Queensland fruit fly, show how Australia's engagement provides benefits at the farm gate. 

"I congratulate Lois Ransom, on her appointment, and wish her and Dr Ritman's team all the best in progressing Australia's plant health priorities. 

"I also acknowledge the significant contribution that the states and territories make in furthering Australia's agricultural interests in supporting the department's engagement with the IPPC." 

Following Ms Ransom's election as Vice-Chair of the IPPC, Australia will assume the Chair in 2016.  

For more information on the IPPC, visit ippc.int/en. For more information on the role of Australia's Chief Plant protection Officer, visit agriculture.gov.au/about/contactus/acppo.