Industry, community and government perspectives

The Strengthening Victoria’s Biosecurity System (SVBS) Program seeks to understand the knowledge and experience of people from across industry, community and government. Their insights will inform how we can work together and improve biosecurity to meet future challenges.

Independent consultants facilitated and reported on each engagement activity to ensure impartiality.

Workshops to develop a Biosecurity Strategy for Victoria

Throughout February and March 2023 seven in-person and three online workshops were held across Victoria to identify specific, tangible ways to deliver a better biosecurity system.

This informed the development of a draft Biosecurity Strategy for Victoria, which will turn the vision from Victoria’s Biosecurity Statement into clear priorities.


Victoria’s Biosecurity Roundtable 2022

Victoria’s annual Biosecurity Roundtable was held on 12 and 13 September 2022. There were 141 people from across the biosecurity system involved in discussions.

Sessions covered:

  1. the launch of the Biosecurity Statement
  2. a biosecurity strategy for the future
  3. biosecurity in the context of caring for Country
  4. driving behavioural change for preparedness and resilience
  5. biosecurity legislative reform.


2022 Biosecurity Roundtable Report  (PDF - 1.6 MB)

2022 Biosecurity Roundtable Report (WORD - 4.0 MB)

2022 Biosecurity Roundtable Report Appendices (PDF - 1.3 MB)

2022 Biosecurity Roundtable Report Appendices (WORD - 1.5 MB)

What did we learn?

We’re looking to a future where everyone in Victoria understands the threats posed by harmful pests and diseases and acts to protect and enhance their communities and environment.

Discussion highlights:

  • Collective action is needed to bring to life the vision outlined in the Biosecurity Statement.
  • Participants agreed that the statement provides clarity and sets a direction for the conversations needed for the strategy development – priorities were outlined to direct the next steps in developing a strategy.
  • Our panel of Aboriginal elders and leaders shared the importance of healing Country through a whole-of-landscape approach and opportunities for improving collaboration with First Nations people.
  • Participants agreed that being prepared for biosecurity incursions is imperative and that increased awareness and communication will support collective action.
  • They also considered how legislation reform could recognise expert advice and support shared responsibility and collective action.

Past engagement

In 2020–21, we captured diverse perspectives and expertise across Victoria through:

  • a survey
  • one-on-one interviews
  • a workshop.

Feedback from these activities is informing how we can better work together in the future. In 2022, we established a Biosecurity Reference Group ensuring industry and community views continue to shape the future of biosecurity in Victoria. Further activities in 2022 include the development of a Biosecurity Statement and a Biosecurity Roundtable leading to the development of a Biosecurity Strategy in 2023.


Farmers, businesses, industry groups and community members were invited to provide their views on biosecurity.


Victoria's Biosecurity System Statewide Survey (PDF - 2.8 MB)

Victoria's Biosecurity System Statewide Survey (WORD - 2.0 MB)

One on one interviews

A series of 115 one-on-one interviews with people from across industry, community and government were conducted.

Interviewees were asked about their experiences and knowledge of biosecurity in Victoria.


Understanding Victoria’s Biosecurity System: Semi-structured interviews report (PDF - 4.8 MB)

Understanding Victoria’s Biosecurity System: Semi-structured interviews (WORD - 2.1 MB)

Shaping Victoria’s Biosecurity Future workshop

The Shaping Victoria’s Biosecurity Future workshop was held online on 17–18 June 2021, hosted by Agriculture Victoria.

Over 100 individuals participated from industry, community, and government, representing a wide range of sectors. Together, we explored opportunities to strengthen the biosecurity system.

The program covered four themes:

  1. strengthening partnerships and engagement
  2. modernising legislation and enhancing regulatory practice
  3. improving our preparedness for biosecurity emergencies
  4. enhancing information sharing and surveillance.

The program was built around the findings of a series of engagement activities led by Agriculture Victoria over 2020–2021, to understand stakeholder perspectives on biosecurity. The engagement findings are summarised in the workshop framing paper.

Workshop highlights  

  • Transformation of the biosecurity system is an imperative: incremental change is not enough to meet the growing challenges and pressures.
  • Victoria needs a more collective approach to biosecurity, drawing on the skills and knowledge of community, industry and government.
  • Biosecurity cannot be done alone: it needs engagement across the system, including building knowledge and capacity of community and industry to share responsibility.
  • A good biosecurity system is an enabler: an investment, rather than a cost, for farmers, industry, community, government.
  • There are many positives to build on: Victoria and Australia take biosecurity seriously; there are many success stories.
  • Biosecurity stakeholders need clarity and transparency in their roles and responsibilities.
  • Collaborative models should be built into the legislation: to shift from the current, outdated approach.
  • The legislation needs greater harmonisation across states and jurisdictions
  • Stakeholders need genuine opportunities to shape the direction of biosecurity legislative reform.
  • Biosecurity is more than just agriculture: a stronger system will recognise how biosecurity protects communities and the environment, and the individuals and organisations working in these sectors.
  • Preparing for biosecurity emergencies is not ‘set-and-forget’: it is something we need to continually build and adapt with community and industry.
  • Improving the quality, integration, accessibility and consistency of data, technology and surveillance networks will improve surveillance and information sharing.

Download the full reports:

The ‘What was said’ Report shares insights from the conversations held during the workshop.

Page last updated: 18 Jul 2023