Australia’s biosecurity policies aim to protect Australia against the risks that may arise from exotic pests entering, establishing and spreading in Australia, thereby threatening Australia's unique flora and fauna, as well as the agricultural industries that are relatively free from serious pests. The risk analysis process is an important part in the development of Australia’s biosecurity policies and enables the Australian Government to formally consider the level of biosecurity risk that may be associated with the importation of plant materials which are potential carriers of pests into Australia. This is comparable with the assessments undertaken by Australia’s trading partners for technical market access requests supporting Australian exports of similar commodities.
The risk assessment process identifies all biosecurity risks on the pathway, and for those that do not achieve the appropriate level of protection (ALOP), determines risk management measures to reduce the risks to an acceptable level, if possible.
This case study examines how risk assessments for market access take into consideration one of the major components of plant biosecurity risk, the likelihood of a pest entering, establishing and spreading from the export area, using key fungal pathogens as examples. The case study discusses how risk management measures are determined based on the biology of the pathogens, and considers factors contributing to decision making of pathway risks.