Poster Presentation Science Protecting Plant Health 2017

Modern Diagnostics Project: Enhanced Plant Health Diagnostics for Northern Australia (#226)

J A Walker 1 , Craig A Marston 1
  1. Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, BOX 96 AAC, Cairns International Airport, CAIRNS, QLD, 4870

The Modern Diagnostic initiative delivers on government priorities to improve biosecurity surveillance outlined in the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper and the Our North, Our Future: White Paper on Developing Northern Australia

Diagnostics underpins Australia’s tropical biosecurity surveillance activities. The Modern Diagnostics initiative is strengthening Australia’s tropical biosecurity diagnostic capability through increasing connectivity between tropical biosecurity diagnosticians, enhancing diagnostic skills and tools across northern Australia, and improving tropical biosecurity infrastructure.

The project aims to enhance plant health diagnostic capability in northern Australia through strategic investment in diagnostic tools and training. Priorities for the investment of this funding have been identified through expert working groups (plant pathology and entomology) comprised of senior diagnosticians from the four northern jurisdictions (QDAF, NTDPIR, DAFWA and NAQS). The working groups developed gap analyses detailing what they considered to be the most significant plant health diagnostic gaps facing northern Australia.

Approximately $480,000 per year for three years is available to address these gaps, with the project currently in its second year of funding. Significant progress against a number of high priority diagnostic gaps has been made during the projects first year of funding. The focus over the next two funding cycles is to engage with the diagnostic community to close the remaining diagnostic gaps through projects that will provide legacy against this investment.