Oral Presentation Science Protecting Plant Health 2017

A new approach for conducting pest risk analyses – the Group Pest Risk Analysis. (4053)

Brian Garms 1
  1. Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Canberra City, ACT, Australia

A pest risk analysis (PRA) is the process of evaluating evidence to determine whether an organism is a pest, if it should be regulated, and the strength of any phytosanitary measures to be taken against it to manage biosecurity risk. The Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (the department) is improving the effectiveness and consistency of PRAs. A key step in this process is the development of a 'group PRA' approach which analyses the biosecurity risk posed by groups of pests with similar biological characteristics across numerous import pathways.

Group PRAs apply the significant body of scientific knowledge available to the department including pest interception data and previous commodity based PRAs. A group PRA synthesises knowledge of groups of pests and diseases with similar biological characteristics to help manage the biosecurity risks associated with commodity movement.

Group PRAs are:

  • built on a foundation of more than 18 years of PRAs by the department through an extensive process of robust scientific analysis and stakeholder consultation with state and territory authorities, industry organisations and trading partners;
  • validated with scientific evidence, including interception data collected at Australia’s borders, and examination of research papers on significant pests recognised internationally, in Australian industry biosecurity plans, and those identified as regional pests for Australia in consultation with states and territories;
  • building blocks that can be used to review existing or prospective trade pathways for which a PRA is required, avoiding the need to 'reinvent the wheel' when analysing the risks of individual species, whilst maintaining a robust system to protect against exotic pest and disease incursions.

This presentation will provide an introduction to the 'group PRA' concept and highlight the recent progress the department has made in developing group PRAs.