Invasive Species Management

DAFF plays a key role in coordinating and managing invasive species including weeds, vertebrate pests and diseases of plants and animals. DAFF develops policies and holds technical and operational responsibility for pre-border, border, and emergency response to invasive species outbreaks. DAFF also prioritises and manages investment in invasive species impacting on Australian agriculture. 

The Sustainable Resource Management Division deals with weed and vertebrate pest management mainly through two nationally coordinated areas: 

Key initiatives include:

Caring for our Country Sustainable Agriculture Stream

Through the Sustainable Agriculture stream of the Caring for our Country initiative, funding will be provided to help reduce the impact of weeds and pests on agriculture. In line with DAFF responsibilities, the focus will be on supporting national surveillance, coordination and extension through partnerships. Further information on Caring for our Country can be found at www.nrm.gov.au

Research and Development Corporations (RDCs)

Research and development corporations (RDCs) are the Australian Government’s primary mechanism for rural research and development (R&D) in Australia. The Rural Research and Development Corporations cover a range of the agricultural, fishing and forestry industries.

RDCs bring industry and resources together to fund projects that provide industry with the innovation and productivity tools to contribute to a sustainable and profitable Australian agricultural sector and also to the competitiveness and profitability of Australia's agricultural, fish and forestry industries. RDCs also support the sustainability of Australia’s natural resource base.

Australian Weeds Committee and Vertebrate Pests Committee

The Australian Weeds Committee and the Vertebrate Pests Committee are cross-jurisdictional subcommittees of the National Biosecurity Committee. The committees are responsible for implementing the Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity and provide policy and technical advice to the National Biosecurity Committee (NBC)for national weed and pest animal issues. They provide nationally coordinated policy and planning solutions.

Objectives

The principal focus of the Committee’s activity is to provide a national mechanism for identification and resolution of government policies on weed issues and pest animal issues on behalf of the National Biosecurity Committee.

Terms of Reference

Australian Weeds Committee (AWC)

Ensure an integrated and effective national approach to the prevention and management of weed problems by reporting and advising National Biosecurity Committee on the following matters:

  1. Provide policy advice on priorities and report on performance in implementing the IGAB for national weed issues
  2. Oversee the implementation, evaluation and review of the Australian Weed Strategy.
  3. Promote the adoption of the principles from the Australian Weed Strategy by natural resource managers at all levels.
  4. Develop, coordinate and deliver nationally consistent approaches for weed management

Vertebrate Pests Committee

Ensure an integrated and effective national approach to the prevention and management of vertebrate pest animal problems by reporting and advising the National Biosecurity Committee on the following matters:

  1. Provide national policy and planning solutions to vertebrate pest issues.
  2. Provide policy advice on priorities and report on performance in implementing the Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity for national vertebrate pest animal issues
  3. Oversee the implementation, evaluation and review of the Australian Pest Animal Strategy
  4. Promote the adoption of the principles from the Australian Pest Animal Strategy by the community, government and key stakeholders at all levels
  5. Develop, coordinate, communicate and deliver nationally consistent approaches for vertebrate pest animal management.

Membership

Members are from the Australian Government and all state and territory government agencies. Representatives from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Plant Health Australia, Animal Health Australia, the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre and New Zealand are observers on the respective committees.

Chairing

A representative from the states and territories on a rotational basis chairs the committees. Dr Jim Thompson of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Queensland currently chairs the AWC.  The VPC chair is currently under appointment.

Secretariat

The Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry provide secretariat services for both the AWC and VPC. The Secretariat contact is:

Invasive Species Contact – Weeds and Pest Animals section
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
GPO Box 858
Canberra ACT 2601
Email: Invasives

Meeting arrangements

Face-to-face meetings of VPC and AWC are convened twice a year. Both committees also convene through teleconference as needed.

Parent committee

The AWC and VPC are sub-committees of the National Biosecurity Committee, Primary Industries Standing Committee and Standing Council on Primary Industries.