​Media Release

Australia’s 2019 biosecurity champions

5 March 2019

  • Australian Biosecurity Awards Held in Canber​ra tonight
  • Celebrating individuals and organisations championing biosecurity
  • Part of ABARES Outlook Conference 2019 

Australia's biosecurity champions have been recognised at the Australian Biosecurity Awards ceremony in Canberra tonight.

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud said those who keep pests and diseases under control, or out of the country, deserve special recognition.

"Everyone has a role to play to protect Australia from pests and diseases," Minister Littleproud said.

"It's important to publicly congratulate businesses and individuals who protect and promote Australia's biosecurity.

"Mike Ashton, from Biosecurity Queensland, received this year's David Banks Biosecurity Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to national plant biosecurity improvements including developing a national plant biosecurity certification scheme.

​"Melinee Leather and Strawberry Springs Pty Ltd won the Farm Biosecurity Producer of the Year awards for maintaining exceptional biosecurity standards on their farms.

"The industry award recipients also included Centre for Invasive Species Solutions, which achieved a 36 per cent drop in rabbit numbers at the release sites of the new strain of Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus (K5) as part of Australia's largest citizen science project involving more than 350 government agencies, industry and community groups. This is a great outcome for agriculture.

"Other industry winners were DHL Global Forwarding (Australia) Pty Ltd, Sione (John) Matakaiongo, Hager Electro, Nathan Hancock, Citrus Australia and Pilbara, Kimberley, Mid-West, Southern and Fremantle Ports Authorities.

"Congratulations to all of this year's winners. It is great to see individuals and businesses working with government to strengthen our biosecurity and protect Australian agriculture."

For more information about the Australian Biosecurity Awards and biographies of the winners, visit agriculture.gov.au/aba.

Fast Facts

  • Australian Agriculture is worth $60 billion to the Australian economy.
  • The Coalition Government is investing $840.5 million in biosecurity in 2018–19.
  • The 2019 awards will be presented in conjunction with 2019 Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry as part of the ABARES Outlook Conference Dinner.
  • This year there are 13 winners under four categories.


2019 Australian Biosecurity Awards winners

The David Banks Biosecurity Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Mike Ashton

Industry Category

  • DHL Global Forwarding (Australia) Pty Ltd
  • Centre for Invasive Species Solutions
  • Sione (John) Matakaiongo, Hager Electro
  • Nathan Hancock, Citrus Australia
  • Pilbara, Kimberley, Mid-West, Southern and Fremantle Ports Authorities

Farm Biosecurity Producer of the Year

  • Melinee Leather
  • Strawberry Springs Pty Ltd

Government Category

  • Aquatic Biosecurity, Northern Territory Government Department of Primary Industry and Resources
  • Apiary Program, Agriculture Victoria
  • Greater Sydney Local Land Services
  • Sarah Corcoran, Northern Territory Government Department of Primary Industry and Resources
  • Aquatic Pest Biosecurity, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development