Federal, state and territory ministers have agreed to Australia’s first national biosecurity plan. 

Federal Agriculture Minister Murray Watt is preparing to release the first National Biosecurity Strategy, designed to increase Australia's ability to protect itself from pests and disease. 

“The biosecurity risks we're facing as a nation are closer and they're more threatening than we've ever seen before and that's partly as a result of climate change, shifting trade and travel patterns, different land uses,” Senator Watt says.

“There's a range of factors we're dealing with now as a country that we haven't seen before and that is increasing the risk of biosecurity [issues] for our farmers and their products.”

Major current threats include African swine fever, lumpy skin disease, foot and mouth disease, and varroa mite - all of which pose enormous risks to Australian industries if they were to become widespread. 

The new biosecurity strategy is meant to ensure that governments and industry work together to protect Australia, laying out six priority areas, including “shared biosecurity culture, stronger partnerships, highly skilled workforce, coordinated preparedness, integration supported by technology, research and data; and sustainable investment”.

“We will ensure funding and investment is sufficient, co-funded, transparent, targeted to our priorities and sustainable for the long term,” the strategy states, but does not make clear how biosecurity services will be funded.

The National Farmers' Federation (NFF) has welcomed the new scheme, saying; “A coordinated and well-resourced and innovative biosecurity system is fundamental to the success of our agriculture industries and in supporting the goal of becoming a $100 billion sector by 2030”.