GrainGuard members recently toured the Canning Vale wholesale produce markets and attended meetings with staff from Quarantine WA and the federal Department of Agriculture and Water Resources to highlight the importance of effective biosecurity.
The GrainGuard committee is comprised of representatives from the Western Australian grain industry and staff from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.
Members of GrainGuard include representatives from WAFarmers, WA Grains Group, Pastoralists and Graziers Association of WA, Grain Industry Association of Western Australia, and CBH Group.
GrainGuard’s aim is to provide direction and priority setting for the WA grains industry on matters relating to grains industry biosecurity, chemical residues and market access.
It focuses much of its efforts on regional quarantine pests that are present elsewhere in Australia but are yet to establish populations in Western Australia.
Department Plant Biosecurity Director Shashi Sharma said the tour emphasised the importance of having robust quarantine measures in place to ensure the state was protected from threats to biosecurity.
“While technological capabilities are certainly improving, effective biosecurity still rests very much on industry, government and community vigilance,” Dr Sharma said.
“Maintaining our biosecurity integrity is crucial to upholding WA’s reputation as an exporter of quality grain products.”
Meeting with the federal Department of Agriculture and Water Resources gave good insight into the measures they are taking to ensure biosecurity threats are stopped not only at the border on arrival, but also at the country of origin, Dr Sharma said.
GrainGuard grower member Ray Marshall, speaking on behalf of the group, reiterated the view that industry and government collaboration was of the utmost importance.
“The grains industry members considered the visit to the various biosecurity organisations as a very meaningful experience,” he said.
“It was of great value to learn more about the current role of the state authorities and the role of the federal authorities.
“Our view is that the exercise will help create a bond between the various units, the farmers and their representatives, and contribute to a greater understanding of the issues surrounding the protection of the WA grain crop.”