Six things happening in your nursery biosecurity program

Thursday, 14 June 2018

It’s been a busy few months for the nursery industry’s biosecurity program.

The detection of citrus canker in the Northern Territory in April prompted an immediate response from government and industry, to support a swift and coordinated plan to a detection of this nature.

The latest detection in Western Australia does not indicate that citrus canker is spreading, but have resulted from the tracing of infected host plants from the Northern Territory.

Control zones and movement restrictions have been quickly implemented in both jurisdictions, and there have been no detections in other areas of the country.

Work is underway to determine the likely origins of the latest outbreak of citrus canker, and industry will be kept up to date on the response plan as it develops.


A recent BioSecure HACCP workshop was held at Forest Hill, Victoria in May, which brought together several nurseries to assess the business case for implementing the best practice program.

It looked at the value of BioSecure HACCP and the Nursery FMS scheme, as well as the benefits including integrated pest management, good record keeping and increased staff engagement.

The next biosecurity workshop will be held on 28 June at Green Fingers Potting Mix, Rocky Point, Queensland. Growers interested in attending the BioSecure can register here.


The Tomato Potato Psyllid (TPP) Transition to Management plan is winding down in Western Australia, with no CLSO found in any plants or psyllid tested over the past twelve months.

This is welcomed news by growers in WA. The latest industry update from the WA Department of Primary Industries can be found here.


Minor use permits form a key part of the nursery industry’s biosecurity program.

NGIA is working to put together an appropriate list of active ingredients and potential products that could take up some of the work of the neonic insecticides, which will be phased out by 2020 by major retailers such as Bunnings.

Engagement with manufacturers for non-neonic products that could be fast tracked into Australia are also being considered.


Work is underway for the Avocado Nursery Voluntary Accreditation Scheme (ANVAS) to transition to the nursery industry’s NIASA program. Appendices have been completed and are currently in consultation with both the nursery and avocado peak bodies.

The outcome of transitioning to NIASA is expected to strengthen and streamline biosecurity practices for growers, and to bring productivity benefits across the broader supply chain.


What’s coming up?

NGIA is in the planning phase for a Xycella Fastidiosa exercise in Brisbane. It will bring together major plant industry representatives that grow host materials, as well as the key biosecurity agencies, to learn more and prepare better for the imminent incursion.

Project code: NY15004

Description: The National Nursery Industry Biosecurity Program aims to ensure production nurseries in Australia are aware of and prepared for incursions of exotic plant pests, and that they have effective market access mechanisms in place to maintain business functionality.