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Northern Australia Quarantine Strategy (NAQS)
Northern Australia is especially vulnerable to pests that could enter from countries to Australia's north. Migrating birds, human activities, wind currents and other natural and uncontrolled pathways can carry pests to Australian shores from neighbouring countries to our north.
Australia's northern coastline is vast and sparsely populated, making it vulnerable to undetected foreign vessels that by-pass the usual quarantine checks at Australian border entry points.
The Northern Australia Quarantine Strategy (NAQS) was established in 1989 to help address the unique quarantine risks in this northern region.
The NAQS program contributes to the delivery of Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) objectives through:
- identifying and evaluating the unique quarantine risks facing northern Australia
- developing and implementing measures for the early detection of targeted pests, diseases and weeds
- contributing to national and international initiatives relating to targeted pest and disease monitoring of relevance to program domestic surveillance
- managing the quarantine aspects of border movements through the Torres Strait.
NAQS objectives are delivered through a program of integrated activities aligned to DAFF functions as outlined below
- animal and Plant health surveillance of targeted pests, weeds and diseases in coastal areas of northern Australia between Broome and Cairns (including Torres Strait but excluding metropolitan areas in Darwin and Cairns)
- quarantine operations to address risks associated with southwards movements of people, cargo, aircraft and vessel into and between defined zones in Torres Strait, and from these zones to mainland Australia
- stakeholder and community engagement (including public awareness activities delivered under the program’s ‘Quarantine Top Watch’ campaign
- collaborations with DAFF and external stakeholders on matters of relevance to domestic quarantine surveillance
- on-shore surveillance capacity building, particularly with Indigenous communities.
In addition to the above, NAQS staff contribute to surveillance and monitoring activities in neighbouring countries for early signs of targetted pests, weeds and disease.
03 Aug 2011