What happens when you report a plant pest?

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Plant biosecurity focusses on keeping plant pests and diseases out of Australia, or actively controlling incursions that are already here. By reporting a plant pest you are protecting Australia and our horticulture industry.

Australia has a world class biosecurity system, but as long as international trade and people movement occurs, there will always be the risk that new plant pests will enter the country. Pests can also be spread to Australia through natural means, such as wind and water currents.

On a national level, Australia’s plant biosecurity activities are administered by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR). Locally, the Northern Territory Government administers biosecurity activities through the Department of Primary Industry and Resources (DPIR).

Have you seen an unusual plant pest or disease? The first step in reporting a plant pest is to call the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline immediately to report what you have seen. The national hotline will put you in touch with local authorities from DPIR who will ask you some questions to help understand the situation. Remember, early reporting increases the chances of effective plant pest and disease control.

Callers will be asked not to move or collect suspect material without seeking advice from the DPIR authorities. Incorrect handling of material could spread the pest or render any samples unsuitable for diagnostic purposes. DPIR agriculture department officers will usually be responsible for sampling and identification of pests.

Plant biosecurity protects Territory plant growers, the general public and the environment from plant pests and diseases. The $251 million horticulture industry is a significant employer and source of economic activity across all areas of the Territory.

Protecting the Territory and the rest of Australia from pests and diseases that threaten the environment, agriculture and agribusiness is everyone’s responsibility.

If you see any plant pest or disease you think is suspicious, report it to the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.

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