Australia’s geographic isolation and lack of shared land borders have, in the past, provided a degree of natural protection from exotic threats. Australia’s national quarantine system also helps to prevent the introduction of harmful exotic threats to plant industry. Rapid increases in overseas tourism, imports and exports, mail and changing transport procedures (e.g. refrigeration and containerisation of produce), as well as the potential for pests to enter via natural routes, mean that relying on these quarantine measures is not enough.
Biosecurity planning provides a mechanism for the olive industry, government and other relevant stakeholders to actively determine pests of highest priority, analyse the risks they pose, and put in place procedures to reduce the chance of pests becoming established, and minimise the impact if a pest incursion occurs.
Ensuring the olive industry has the capacity to minimise the risks posed by pests, and to respond effectively to any pest threats is a vital step for the future sustainability and viability of the industry. Through this pre-emptive planning process, the industry will be better placed to maintain domestic and international trade, negotiate access to new overseas markets, and reduce the social and economic costs of pest incursions on both growers and the wider community.