Online training supports good jobs in the face of hitchhiker pests

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New online training modules will support good jobs in agriculture by helping more people recognize exotic pests and diseases.

Agriculture Industry Development and Fisheries Minister and Rural Communities Minister Mark Furner said Biosecurity Queensland, Plant Health Australia and the NSW Government had developed two new online training modules, Hitchhiker Pests and Nursery Pests and Diseases.

“Increasing global trade and the corresponding movement of pests and diseases means Australians must be prepared for evolving biosecurity risks,” Furner said.

“Hitchhiker’s pests, as they are known, are pests and weeds that can hitchhike in Australia in ships, shipping containers and general cargo,” Furner said.

“Recent detections of hitchhiking pests such as the Khapra beetle in imported goods underscore the importance of recognizing incoming threats.

“These pests have the potential to have significant impacts, particularly on our environment and our way of life.

“The new Hitchhiker Pests online course is aimed at businesses that process commodities and commodities at critical points in the supply chain, including warehouses, distribution centers and large retail chains.

“The Nursery Pests and Diseases course is designed for local council and retail nursery staff, landscapers and horticulturists. The course provides training in pest identification and what to do if staff see a suspected exotic pest or disease on plants. »

Furner said the Palaszczuk government is pleased that major retailers are looking to incorporate the training into their staff training to build awareness of basic biosecurity.

“We are looking for more companies that want to be biosecurity champions and build that awareness within their business to protect Queensland from biosecurity threats,” he said.

“Each class lasts approximately 30 minutes and participants will receive a certificate of completion. Employers may recognize these courses as professional development.

Plant Health Australia (PHA) chief executive Sarah Corcoran said collaboration and partnerships were key elements of a strong and integrated Australian biosecurity system.

“By forming new partnerships and extending our biosecurity training to new areas of the supply chain, we are strengthening our collective ability to detect and report suspicious pests and diseases,” Corcoran said.

“These new courses will be valuable additions to PHA’s library of free online training courses to enhance plant health knowledge and biosecurity awareness.

“Equipping key industries with practical biosecurity training and practices that they can integrate into their day-to-day jobs not only adds an extra layer to the Australian biosecurity network, but also demonstrates that there is no need to be an expert at detecting and reporting something unusual.”

Mr Furner said Australia had strict measures in place to prevent the entry, establishment and spread of pests and diseases.

“However, for the system to be as robust as possible, everyone at all points in the chain needs to be vigilant and report anything unusual,” Furner said.

“Training staff to be biosecurity aware and ensuring everyone is aware of the reporting process adds an additional weapon to our arsenal.

/Public release. This material from the original organization/authors may be ad hoc in nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author or authors. See in full here.
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