Media Release

Rewarding those who go above and beyond to sustain our way of life

12 September 2014

Agriculture Minister, Barnaby Joyce, is calling for nominations from farmers, import and export industries, and the broader community for the 2015 Australian Biosecurity Awards.

"The value of a strong biosecurity system that protects Australia from exotic pests and diseases is showcased through these national annual awards presented in March 2015," Minister Joyce said.

"I am calling on the community to nominate individuals, groups or organisations who have made a significant contribution to the biosecurity protection of our nation before nominations close on 31 October.

"It isn't just government and importers who are responsible for managing Australia's biosecurity. It's farmers, truck drivers, feedlot operators, abattoir workers, fruit pickers, grain handlers, exporters, international travellers – and all of us who ever receive products from overseas by mail or by courier.

"Managing Australia's biosecurity system is a complex business with most of the community contributing unwittingly to our efforts to keep ourselves, our environment, livestock and crops healthy.

"These Department of Agriculture awards shine a light on the whole biosecurity system – including the huge efforts that are made not only at the physical border, but in countries of origin and post entry facilities alike.

"Our biosecurity system relies on our continued work offshore to keep biosecurity risks away, markets open and international standards high – and on our work onshore to eradicate detections of pests and diseases when they do occur and to demonstrate our freedom from pests and diseases of concern to our trading partners.

"Last year one of our award winners, Tony Filippi, from the Mildura Fruit Company,  won an award for his work to improve fruit fly management in orchards. We should not forget that just as Australia has stringent import requirements for products that pose a high biosecurity risk so do many of our trading partners.

"Mr Filippi's efforts to help orchardists understand the need to meet importing country requirements while growing the fruit – and at harvest – is the sort of unsung work we want to highlight through these awards.

"Robust science, a strong compliance regime and the support of industry, farmers and the community are all important ingredients in managing our biosecurity system and sustaining our way of life. We should celebrate that," Minister Joyce said.

For information about award categories and eligibility criteria visit agriculture.gov.au/aba.