Two minute statement

6 September 2023

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting the Centre of Excellence for Biosecurity Risk Analysis, located at the University of Melbourne. I met with CEBRA’s CEO, Andrew Robinson, and his great team. They gave me and my adviser a thorough overview of the work that they do. CEBRA is jointly funded by the Australian government and the New Zealand government, in collaboration with the University of Melbourne. It informs data-driven responses to biosecurity threats. It was great to get some insights into the model they use to analyse biosecurity risks across the country.

The work done by the team at CEBRA is important. We were all reminded of this recently with the overseas outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease and lumpy skin disease, in particular the threat that these diseases pose to our agriculture industry. Earlier this week the Senate considered and passed the Biosecurity Amendment (Advanced Compliance Measures) Bill 2023. The bill demonstrates the government’s commitment to keeping Australian lives and industries safe from biosecurity threats. Much of the fight to keep Australia safe is fought beyond our borders. That’s why our bill ensures that Commonwealth officers have access to the information they need to assess the biosecurity risk associated with travellers and goods.

As global food security is threatened by fragile supply chains and climate change, it is critical that we protect the stability and productivity of our agriculture industry. That’s why it’s so important that places like CEBRA are supported to continue the good work that they do and why governments should continue to take a proactive approach to biosecurity, as we did earlier this week.