Horticulture industries getting ready for emergency response
30 July 2015
Horticulture Industry Network (HIN) members, representing 16 industries from across Australia have now been trained as Industry Liaison Officers (ILO) to further strengthen the efficiency of responding to biosecurity emergency's in Victoria.
Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) Services Officer Mark Hincksman coordinated the ILO training with DEDJTR horticulture and emergency response specialists at Attwood.
"In an emergency response the ILO is the link between the Incident Management team and external agencies and industry," Mr Hincksman said.
"The role includes providing advice on the affected industries and the practicality of eradication and control programs being proposed."
Mr Hincksman said training HIN members to be ILOs is a step towards improving biosecurity and communication networks in the event of an emergency.
"Objectives of the day included outlining the main phases of an emergency response and identifying the functions of the ILO role, plus gaining knowledge on the tools and communication requirements of an emergency plant pest response."
The training also included a mock emergency at the Incident Control Centre at DEDJTR Attwood, led by DEDJTR Incident Controller Kim Andrews.
Mr Hincksman said the training day gave the participants a clear understanding of the government's role in an emergency, therefore providing them with confidence to assist in future emergencies.
"While industry has never been formally deployed within an Incident Management Team, their role is critical for an effective emergency plant pest response, as shown in the recent emergency plant pest response to chestnut blight and giant pine scale," Mr Hincksman said.
He said due to the significant number of horticulture industries that can be affected by one emergency plant pest, it is important that ILOs work together to ensure their industry's priorities are identified and considered.
Industries involved in the training were: Almond Board of Australia; Australian Table Grapes, Australian Wine Research Institute, Dried Fruits Australia, Fruit Growers Victoria, Nursery and Garden Industry Victoria, Pistachio Growers Association, Raspberries and Blackberries Australia, Victorian Farmers Federation, Flowers Victoria, Victorian Seed Potato Association, Victorian Vegetable Growers Association, Strawberries Victoria, Apple and Pear Australia Limited, Victorian Cherry Association, Murray Valley Wine Association.
Categorised under: Agriculture & food