biosecurity

Officer in TRAINING

Want to be on the frontline of biosecurity? Plant Health Australia is training up a team of industry liaison officers.
Words Helen Newman, WA biosecurity officer
WA citrus industry members participated in training last month for an Industry Liaison Officer (ILO) role in a biosecurity response centre. When a new pest arrives in Australia or Western Australia and impacts the citrus industry, an ILO will be called upon to support local response activities and provide linkages with industry. Early and inclusive engagement of an ILO has been shown to promote better outcomes during biosecurity responses. Some biosecurity responses are lengthy and stressful, so it is important that more than one person can step into an ILO role to share the load.
“ Early and inclusive engagement of a ILO has been shown to promote better outcomes ... 
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Future officers: WA citrus industry attends ILO training.
Cliff Winfield, a WA citrus grower and member of the WA Citrus committee and Biosecurity Working Group, attended the training. “I thought the training was good learning and networking experience,” he says. “I see the ILO role as a bridge between government agencies, the industry body, such as Citrus Australia/WA Citrus, and affected growers in a plant pest emergency. The more people in our industry who understand how a response is carried out the better. Nationally, it’s important that we create a network of ILOs to call on in an incursion.”
ILOs work with control centre staff during a plant biosecurity response, providing industry insights, knowledge and expertise to on-ground response activities. The ILO’s role can include providing critical information on industry practices, supply chain operations and markets, and engaging with affected growers. In a response to an exotic pest, the ILO will work with Citrus Australia, which has decision-making powers under the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed.
Anyone interested in how a biosecurity response works can do a short online e-learning course on the Plant Health Australia website. Please get in touch if you are interested in helping during a response. The more people we have ready to go now, the better placed we will be when the time comes to act.

MORE INFORMATION

Contact Helen Newman if interested in becoming an ILO on 0428 335 724 or at helen.newman@dpird.wa.gov.au. To complete the online training mentioned above, visit www.planthealthaustralia.com.au/resources/training/biosecurityonline-training/.