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Spotted something unusual? Now what?

Free online Pest Reporting and Responses short courses available

Two new courses are available on Plant Health Australia’s Biosecurity Online Training (BOLT) site on the topic of reporting new pests and diseases, and some of the steps that may be taken in the early stages of an incursion.

The detection of plant pests can impact everyone in different ways, and everyone can contribute to protecting our country from exotic pests and diseases that may impact out environment, agricultural industries and communities.

These two courses meet the same objectives but from the perspective of two different target groups. Both courses were released in 2019, are free, take around 15 minutes each to complete and there is no assessment. Once you are registered as a BOLT user, you can simply read the information.

Growers – Pest Reporting and Responses

Focussing on a grower’s role in reporting and responses, this short course provides information on how to report and what may happen after the grower does. This course includes the responsibilities of governments and industries in the early part of a pest incursion and aims to provide growers with a better understanding of reporting and responding to plant pests that may be a biosecurity threat and covers:

  • the benefits of biosecurity
  • the possible impacts of pests
  • biosecurity practices on your property
  • what to do if you find an unusual pest or symptom
  • the joint response from government and industry to a pest.

Researchers – Pest Reporting and Responses

Targeted at researchers who might come in contact with new or unusual plant pests in Australia, this short course was developed to fill a gap in biosecurity training for this audience. It aims to provide researchers with a better understanding of reporting and responding to plant pests that may be a biosecurity threat and covers information including:

  • the benefits of biosecurity
  • how to implement biosecurity practices
  • why and how to report a new or unusual pest or symptom of disease.

You can enrol and complete the course on the BOLT website.

If you have any questions or feedback about the course email the PHA Training team at

In Australia, any unusual plant pest should be reported as soon as possible to the relevant state or territory agriculture agency through the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.