Being involved in the forestry sector in Tasmania means that you have an important role to play in helping to protect your business, the broader industry and the state from the impact of pests, weeds and disease.
Listed below are some biosecurity actions you can take to meet your General Biosecurity Duty (GBD) and to help keep your coups, plantations and production areas - and Tasmania - biosecurity safe.
Develop a Biosecurity Plan
Developing and implementing an appropriate biosecurity plan for your business is a key step that you can take. Biosecurity plans should contain actions aimed at preventing the introduction or spread of pests, weeds and disease on the properties you work on. They are also a good way to educate staff on the importance of biosecurity. There are many on-line resources to assist with this – the Farm Biosecurity website
is a great starting point.
Important Biosecurity Actions
Biosecurity vigilance (also known as Notification of a Biosecurity Event)
If you SEE something on your coups, plantations or production areas that is unusual or of biosecurity concern, such as potential exotic plant/animal pests, weeds or diseases, or invasive animal species;
SECURE the site by restricting access (and limiting movement in the case of suspected animal diseases) AND take a photo, noting the location; and then
REPORT it to Biosecurity Tasmania as soon as possible.
Please note: Taking samples in the field may increase the risk of spreading the biosecurity risk so Biosecurity Tasmania will provide further instruction regarding possible sample collection and submission.
Before arrival at a property – contact the landowner or site manager and determine whether there are any specific biosecurity protocols which you will need to follow.
Upon arrival – obey any biosecurity signage information and sign the visitor register if there is one in use.
Pests, weeds and diseases
Make sure you start with clean certified seed and plant stock, and check trees regularly for pests and diseases.
Understand your responsibilities in the control of declared weeds on the land that you manage and take all reasonable measures to limit their impact and spread.
Regularly check gates, fences and enclosures and repair any damage to prevent the escape or entry of livestock..
Work with licenced pest controllers and NRE Tas, where required, in the control and management of pest animals, such as European rabbits and other invasives, on your property.
Ensure that agricultural and veterinary chemicals are used as per label, or applicable off-label permit (i.e. appropriately to minimise risk to human health, animal health, plant health and the environment). Find out more about AgVet chemical use in Tasmania.
Clean equipment regularly and thoroughly to prevent the transfer of pests and diseases between plants.
If you’re travelling between various forestry sites, some additional actions include:
Ensure that your clothes, vehicles and equipment are clean on arrival and free of soil and plant material (such as weed seeds).
Use designated laneways and tracks where possible, avoid travelling through agricultural production areas and ensure clothes, vehicles and equipment are clean prior going off track into paddocks, coups, bushland or similar.
Leave gates as you found them (i.e. open or closed), unless otherwise instructed by the property owner or manager, or signage. Report any damage to fences to the property owner/manager to prevent the escape or entry of livestock.
When you leave the property – make sure your vehicle and equipment are cleaned (if on-site facilities are available) or at a minimum ensure you clean down your vehicle and equipment before entering the next property. Carrying a basic, personal biosecurity kit is a good way of decontaminating vehicles, clothing and equipment. Recommended contents and instructions on putting a kit together can be found at the Farm Biosecurity website.
Importing items into Tasmania
All imported plants and many of their products must be presented to Biosecurity Tasmania for inspection at an Approved Quarantine Place (AQP). It is the responsibility of the importer to determine an appropriate AQP and make a booking for inspection with Biosecurity Tasmania once the AQP has confirmed they will accept the consignment.
Check the biosecurity requirements before you import any plants or plant products, including seeds, seedlings, rootstock and cuttings, or samples such as woodchips, leaves and soil. You can do this via the Plant Biosecurity Manual Tasmania, or by contacting Biosecurity Tasmania.
Ensure that imports are accompanied by any required certificates, permits or other documentation, that labelling is accurate and clearly marked ‘for attention Biosecurity Tasmania’, and that you notify Biosecurity Tasmania of the import at least 24 hrs prior to arrival where required.
If you are importing equipment or machinery, you need to take all reasonable and practicable measures to ensure that they are cleaned and free of all soil, seeds and plant matter prior to arriving in Tasmania, as per Import Requirement 39 in the Plant Biosecurity Manual Tasmania. Some machinery may have to meet additional import requirements.
If you are importing seeds in consignments under 1kg as per Import Requirement 36 in the Plant Biosecurity Manual Tasmania, ensure that they are sourced from an approved supplier, or consider applying to become a registered importer if you plan on importing seeds on a regular basis.
Contact and reporting
Contact Biosecurity Tasmania for general information or to report a suspected pest, weed or disease:
Phone: (03) 6165 3777
Alternatively, for reporting pests, weeds or diseases, you can call the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline (1800 084 881) or the Emergency Animal Disease Hotline (1800 675 858).
Stay up to date on biosecurity in Tasmania
Subscribing to get Tasmanian Biosecurity Advisories is the best way you can keep yourself up-to-date and fully informed about Tasmanian biosecurity issues. Our Advisories cover topics such as changes or proposed changes to Tasmania’s import regulations, animal health and welfare, plant health, forthcoming regulation reviews and opportunities for public comment, new or emerging pest/disease risks and a range of other matters related to Tasmania’s biosecurity.
Follow Biosecurity Tasmania on Facebook.
Please note that this information contains minimum recommendations only. The GBD requires a person dealing with biosecurity matter or a carrier to take all reasonable and practicable measures to prevent, eliminate or minimise any biosecurity risk associated with the dealing. Such measures may not be specified in any regulations, guidelines or other official publications.