Oral Presentation Science Protecting Plant Health 2017

Risk assessment and application of the Military Appreciation Process to involve growers in emergency response decision making (4416)

Rebecca J Laws 1 , Suzy Perry 1
  1. Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Dutton Park, QLD, Australia

The incursion of the tropical race 4 (TR4) strain of Panama disease in north Queensland in 2015 required the rapid implementation of effective risk mitigation measures to limit the spread of this serious pathogen.  To ensure that the risk mitigation measures developed were practical and effective for the range of different situations that banana growers face, the growers themselves were invited to be involved in the risk assessment and development of risk mitigation measures. The military appreciation process was chosen as the tool to evaluate the response options.  Biosecurity staff first stepped through the whole decision making process and came up with a preliminary pest risk assessment and draft risk management options.  These documents were then distributed to growers and other industry stakeholders for their input.  A workshop was held with growers where they provided information on the diversity of farming practices and setups and evaluated the risk assessment and risk management options.  This process resulted in the combination of several approaches into a novel management strategy as the growers’ preferred approach. The input of growers and other industry stakeholders resulted in a risk management strategy that required fewer modifications on implementation.  One of the key benefits of the process to government was allowing stakeholders to experience and understand the rigour of the biosecurity decision making processes.  This experience will be drawn upon to guide future interactions with stakeholders in emergency response situations.