GRAIN Producers Australia (GPA) is encouraging growers and property managers to use the new Vehicle Biosecurity Risk Assessment Tool to help prevent deadly pests and diseases hitchhiking their way onto farms.
The new tool was designed for people in the grains industry to assess and identify biosecurity risks with vehicle and machinery movements.
GPA chair, Barry Large, said tiny pests such as khapra beetle had the potential to cause significant social and economic devastation for the Australian grains industry, impacting international trade.
Mr Large – who also chairs the GPA Biosecurity Committee – said the tool was a simple and effective way to support growers to take action and improve biosecurity management, to protect their own businesses and the broader grains industry.
“The tool is one of those ‘one per centers’ we can all use on our farms to make a difference,” Mr Large said.
“It’s designed so farmers can take control of people, vehicles and machinery that enter their property; especially the productive zones.
“It’s a prompt for a discussion that’s needed to keep risky vehicles and machines off the property until thar risk has been properly managed by cleaning etc.
“The checklist hopes to prompt a level of responsibility in people moving and travelling from farm to farm, to thoroughly clean down prior to entering a property, as a duty of care to the owner.”
Mr Large said the tool was developed by the Grains on Farm Biosecurity Program, which is managed through Plant Health Australia and GPA, in representing Australia’s levy-paying grain producers.