In March 2014, PHA has was awarded a contract by the Commonwealth for implementing a project under the National Landcare Programme Innovation Grants initiative entitled:
National Surveillance System for Weeds and Plant Pests: Virtual Coordination Centre.
The project is designed to facilitate an innovative national system capable of providing and receiving real time surveillance information on weeds and plant pests. The major two year project is designed to foster extensive cooperative interaction with a wide range of PHA members and plant biosecurity stakeholders.
The project was initiated to assist implement the National Plant Biosecurity Strategy (NPBS), a document finalised in 2010 and endorsed by all of Australia’s governments and most primary industries. The NPBS calls for the development of a nationally coordinated and targeted surveillance system that supports the early detection of new pests, reports evidence of area freedom, enhances pest incursion responses and supports the effective management of established pests (Strategy 2).
The research project is designed to deliver a Virtual Coordination Centre that can enable community groups, regional bodies, agricultural industries, and jurisdictions to contribute to, and access real time surveillance information on weeds and plant pests. By identifying and linking existing mechanisms, and promoting the establishment of new field tools, the innovation is designed to facilitate the development of an integrated, accessible and seamless national surveillance system.