Department wins two Chief Minister’s Awards

The Department of Primary Industry and Resources’ efforts to grow the Territory’s food industries and maintain strong biosecurity practices have been recognised with two wins at this year’s Chief Minister’s Awards for Excellence in the Public Sector.

The awards celebrate excellence across the Northern Territory public sector and this year there were 27 finalists across the eight award categories from 81 nominated projects.

The Major Agribusiness team was successful in the Developing Northern Australia category with the project Growing the Territory’s food industries with Japanese technology – A Memorandum of Cooperation with Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

The team pulled off a unique and ground breaking initiative to marry the Territory’s agricultural production know-how with Japanese technology to supply food to the world focussing on the growing middle classes of South East Asia.

A Memorandum of Cooperation with our Japanese counterparts was signed in January this year and the two agencies have worked together to foster research and development for food production and supply chain logistics to service South East Asian and other markets.

The Plant Biosecurity team was the joint category winners, along with the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation for the Economic Stimulus Grant Programs, for their consistent work to ensure industry is safeguarded from pests and diseases, protecting profitability and sustainability of horticultural industries in the NT.

Their winning project was Biosecurity protecting agricultural investment in the Northern Territory.

Plant Biosecurity and Plant Industries staff worked together with industry and the public to lead the way nationally with eradication and management programs for pests such as Banana Freckle, Browsing Ant, Cucumber Green Mottle Mosaic Virus and Queensland Fruit Fly in recent times.

The Fisheries and Aquaculture Division was a finalist in two categories – the Innovation in the Public Sector category for their project Promote and develop educational and communication outcomes in the recreational fishing community, and the Improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Outcomes category with the project Supporting Aboriginal participation in the Northern Territory Seafood Industry.Both categories had a strong field of finalists and although the Fisheries’ teams did not win on this occasion they are to be commended on their effort in making the short list of finalists.

A Queensland fruit fly on a mango
Queensland fruit fly were successfully eradicated from Ti Tree and Rocky Gully earlier this year thanks to efforts from the department's Plant Biosecurity team