Government releases list of unwanted environmental pests, weeds and diseases

It’s the best seller for 2020, the National Priority List of Exotic Environmental Pests, Weeds and Diseases. Released this month, the list finally delivers on a recommendation of the 2017 review of Australia’s biosecurity system.

The federal government says the list will be used to prioritise national actions to help prevent the entry, establishment and spread of exotic pests, weeds, and diseases.

Species mentioned on the list are identified as posing a high risk to the environment and public spaces. They may also impact on agricultural production.

The list is designed to help build a stronger environmental biosecurity system to protect Australia’s assets and support the nation’s economic prosperity and national image.

The Priority List was developed by experts from across the nation and agreed by state and territory governments.

It provides a national level focus to raise awareness, guide surveillance activities, strengthen preparedness and response capabilities and inform research.

The Priority List is expected to play a key role in focusing prevention efforts to keep exotic pests out of the country.

Prevention has been proven to deliver the best outcome, far more so than eradication, containment or asset protection.

We’ve seen the destruction caused by so many invasive pests over the years to our native species and farms, and, sadly, there are many other exotic threats that can cause even further damage.

It is important to help people recognise the dangers and prevent new pests from entering or establishing in Australia.

We can all play a role in reducing biosecurity risks and it can be as simple as reporting unusual plants or pests in our gardens, parklands and conservation areas.

More information about the National Priority List of Exotic Environmental Pests, Weeds and Diseases can be found here.

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