Nursery industry’s John McDonald honoured with national biosecurity award

Nursery & Garden Industry Australia (NGIA) National Biosecurity Manager John McDonald has been awarded a 2018 Australian Biosecurity Award for his contribution to maintaining the nation’s biosecurity integrity.

Deputy Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Lyn O'Connell, made the announcement at the ABARES Conference Dinner in Canberra last night.

Developed by NGIA, BioSecure HACCP has been funded by Hort Innovation using the nursery industry levy and contributions from the Australian Government.

It has become one of the nation’s most successful on-farm biosecurity programs led by industry, and is being formally recognised by state jurisdictions and adopted across Australian production nurseries.

Mr McDonald said BioSecure HACCP was a product of hard work, commitment and ongoing collaboration between NGIA, state and territory biosecurity agencies.

“I am honoured to receive this recognition for my work on one of the most critical issues facing food, fibre and foliage production in Australia – plant biosecurity,” Mr McDonald said.

“It’s been rewarding to see BioSecure HACCP evolve from a concept ten years ago to a scheme significantly improving pest management and boosting productivity by 2-3 per cent at the farm level and, at the same time, enabling businesses to meet their regulatory requirements.

“I’d like to thank Andrew Bishop, Chief Plant Health Manager from the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water & Environment, for nominating me. I believe it is a testament to the very nature of BioSecure HACCP and the collaboration it has created between industry and government.

“We’ve achieved a great outcome for Australian production nursery owners, who face the rising threat of pest and disease that comes with operating in an increasingly globalised world.

“Thanks also to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and the awards selection committee. I look forward to continuing our important work at NGIA, including working with governments, to ensure a more robust, reliable biosecurity system for growers, now and into the future.”

NGIA CEO Peter Vaughan said the award is fantastic acknowledgment of Mr McDonald’s contribution to biosecurity in the nursery industry and, more broadly, his work with various bodies overseeing plant health and biosecurity programs in Australia.

“John is such a well-respected figure amongst growers and industry, and we are so fortunate to have his expertise and wealth of knowledge at NGIA and, prior to this, at NGI Queensland,” Mr Vaughan said.

“Having one of the most diverse, complex supply chains in horticulture means biosecurity is an issue that we take very seriously, which is why a significant amount of levy funding goes towards protecting against, preparing for, and managing incursions of pest and disease.

“In his role and oversight of our national biosecurity program, John has made a significant contribution to industry over many years.

“He is a true champion of the Australian nursery industry and we congratulate him on this significant achievement.”

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