17 February, 2019
Australia is lucky to be free from many of the world’s most damaging plant pests, and despite a strong biosecurity system, there is a need to be vigilant and undertake activities that assist prepare for pest incursions. To help prioritise and target the highest priorities, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has identified the National Priority Plant Pest list, a set of 42 pests or pest groups that is a focus for government action because of their impact on plant production or the natural environment. Pests on this list were selected because of the possible ways they can enter Australia, the likelihood of their entry, their ability to become established or spread and their overall impact. The most important pest is considered to be Xylella fastidiosa because of its huge host range and the impact it has had, and is having, on many types of commercial crops, native flora and gardens around the world.
If you suspect you have found an unusual pest or disease on your property or in your backyard, phone the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881. This number will put you in touch with the department of primary industries or agriculture in your state or territory.