The ABGC Board met in Brisbane last week. Highlights included the continued focus on TR4 management, feral pig eradication update and the LEAD Leadership Program.
The board had a presentation and discussion with Acting Chief Biosecurity Officer Malcolm Letts.
Mr Letts discussed concerns raised by ABGC over ongoing investment by government into TR4 management and containment.
He said the current BQ-led and funded TR4 Program would continue for the time being to focus on containment of TR4, including mitigating the risk of spread and assisting highest at-risk growers to plan for potential TR4 infection.
However, government would consider a range of options for longer term management of TR4 in the future.
He added that government recognised the significant economic contribution of the banana industry, particularly in relation to regional jobs.
Feral Pig Management
ABGC deputy chair Leon Collins, who co-ordinates ABGCs Feral Pig Management Working Group, gave an update on the current feral pig aerial shooting program.
He reported that 1011 pigs had been taken out of high-risk TR4 zones since the eradication program began in July.
Mr Collins continues to drive that program including advocating to local members, co-ordinating eradication efforts with canegrowers, monitoring outcomes from grant funding and pursuing greater management efforts in national parks.
He is also the banana industry’s representative on the Feral Pig Executive Oversight Committee Meeting, led by the Cassowary Coast Regional Council
The ABGC Board discussed the leadership program for growers that ABGC is a part of called ‘Leadership Exploration and Development in horticultural industries’ (LEAD).
The project is funded by the Federal Government and involves a range of associations for the tropical fruits.
LEAD will be delivered over three years to 40 growers through a combination of workshops and webinars to encourage industry dialogue, innovative practices, strategic thinking, planning and problem solving.
The program will cover a range of topics including crisis management, understanding and managing biosecurity, international trade, networking and effective lobbying.
There are nine places available on this program for ABGC members, but time is running out to apply! To find out more contact Leanne at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07 3278 4786. You can also visit the information page on the ABGC website.
The LEAD program has been made possible through the Leadership in Agricultural Industries Fund, administered by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources to support Australian agricultural industry.