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Wednesday, 9 May 2018
Page: 3627

Plant Biosecurity Research Initiative

(Question No. 953)


Mr Fitzgibbon asked the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, in writing, on 26 March 2018:

(1) How much has been contributed to fund the development of the Plant Biosecurity Research Initiative (PBRI) by (a) each of the seven Plant Research and Development Corporations, (b) Plant Health Australia, and (c) the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

(2) How will the PBRI measure its targets to (a) invest in new knowledge and skills across all plant industries to support Australia's plant biosecurity system, and (b) provide coordination and collaborative leadership to ensure research is well-targeted, innovative and that the science is of the highest quality.

(3) How many interested parties, other than the core partners, have participated in the PBRI.

(4) How many cross-sectoral research projects which include interested parties are currently being developed through the PBRI.

(5) How much cash or in-kind contributions have been committed by interested parties, other than the core partners.

(6) How many projects undertaken through the PBRI address gaps in the plant biosecurity research as identified in the Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity.

(7) How many concepts for projects have been developed through the regular tabling of cross-sectoral biosecurity research needs through the PBRI and what is the funding envelope provided for each project.

(8) How many concepts for projects have been submitted to the respective Boards for consideration.

(9) How often has the PBRI Management Committee met; and for each of these meetings (a) on what dates were they held, (b) where did the meetings take place, and (c) who attended.


Mr Littleproud: The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

1. The cash costs for establishing the PBRI have been kept to a minimum with a total budget of $740,921 over three years. Once established, the intention is to create an enduring PBRI with a rolling five-year agreement at the end of the first three years.

a) Each of the seven Plant Research and Development Corporations are contributing $54,531.

b) $359,204.

c) Nil.

2. The PBRI is in the process of developing a strategy, investment plan and a Monitoring and Evaluation framework.

The PBRI partners have agreed to commission an independent review of performance of the PBRI after 2.5 years, at which time performance will be measured and reported to stakeholders, and potential improvements identified.

In addition, each member of the PBRI has its own strategy which includes KPIs and performance targets for biosecurity investments. On an annual basis, each RDC reports back to government on how it meets these targets.

3. The following is a list of 29 organisations that have expressed interest in partnering through PBRI, have made RD&E submissions, are developing submissions to PBRI or have been consulted on Key Focus Areas (KFA) for inclusion in the PBRI strategy.

This list is not exclusive and is expected to grow as the PBRI becomes fully established. PBRI also represents a contact point for interested parties who may be looking to invest in plant biosecurity RD&E.

Department of Primary Industries Regional Development (WA)

Department of Primary Industry and Resources (NT)

Queensland Department Agriculture and Fisheries

Department of Primary Industries NSW

Department of Economic Development Jobs Transport and Resources (VIC)

Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water & Environment (TAS)

Tasmanian Institute of Agricultural Research

Primary Industries Research South Australia

South Australia Research and Development Institute

National Biosecurity Committee

Centre for Invasive Species Solutions

CSIRO

Murdoch University

University of Western Australia

University of Melbourne

La Trobe University

University of Queensland

Queensland University of Technology

University of Tasmania

Lincoln University, NZ

Charles Darwin University

CEBRA

CESAR

Australasian Plant Pathology Society

Australian Entomology Society

Plant and Food Research New Zealand

Better Border Biosecurity (B3), New Zealand

AusVeg

EUPHRESCO, France.

4. 23.

5. The PBRI does not provide RD&E funding and as such does not request or receive in-kind or cash funds from research providers. The PBRI is not intended to become a stand-alone funding or delivery organisation. Instead of creating a new administration layer, the PBRI will harness the significant collective investment power of the plant RDCs. Analysis by the Council of Rural RDCs estimates the average leverage across all RDCs is $1.27 for every $1 invested by an RDC. Therefore, based on the plant biosecurity RDE investment for 2015-16 ($62.9 million) the cash and in-kind contributions from interested parties for plant biosecurity RD&E is estimated to have been $80 million in that year.

6. All 23 projects under development are aligned to the six PBRI KFAs which are directly aligned to the research areas identified in the Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity. If research concepts do not align to these KFAs they will not be considered within the PBRI framework.

7. 23 projects are under development through the PBRI. The PBRI provides a forum for the partners to share their individual and collective biosecurity research needs, and to test alignment of potential projects across the participating organisation.

The PBRI is not a funding body and does not determine funding allocations. Decisions about the level of investment into any given project are the responsibility of the funding provider.

8. Since November 2017, most concepts have received feedback to revise aspects of the proposed research (for example to better define the size of the problem, to collaborate with key partners, to better target research to industry's needs). These revised concepts will be re-tabled at future PBRI meetings.

Ten concepts have moved on to the project development phase and their status is summarised as follows:

Two concept have progressed to Board

One concept has progressed to tender

Five concepts are at RDC evaluation panel stages

Two concepts are on-hold pending the outcome of a relevant RDC commissioned report due in June 2018

9. Five meetings have been held with quarterly meetings scheduled as per the terms of the PBRI Agreement

Date: 13 April 2017

Venue: Hort Innovation Level 8, 1 Chifley Square, Sydney

Attendees: Dr David Alden RIRDC, Mr. Justin Crosby GRDC, Mr. Greg Fraser PHA, Mr Kevin-Clayton Green Hort Innovation, Dr Anthony Kachenko Hort Innovation, Dr Chris Lafferty FWPA, Mr. Tim Lester CRRDC, Mr David Moore Hort Innovation, Dr Michael O'Shea SRA, Dr Ian Taylor CRDC.

Date: 19 June 2017

Venue: Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Canberra

Attendees: Mr Greg Fraser PHA, Dr Dave Alden RIRDC, Dr Marion Healy DAWR, Dr Chris Lafferty, FWPA, Mr Tim Lester CRRDC, Dr Jo Luck PBRI Director, Dr Victoria Ludowici, PHA, Mr David Moore Hort Innovation, Dr Michael O'Shea SRA, Dr Kim Ritman DAWR, Dr Ian Taylor CRDC, Dr Ken Young GRDC.

Date: 18 August 2017

Venue: Sugar Research Australia, Brisbane

Attendees: Mr Greg Fraser PHA, Dr Dave Alden AF, Mr Tim Lester CRRDC, Dr Jo Luck PBRI Director, Dr Anthony Kachenko Hort Innovation, Dr Michael O'Shea SRA, Dr Peter Samson SRA, Dr Andrew Ward SRA, Dr Kim Ritman DAWR, Mr Con Goletsos DAWR, Dr Ian Taylor CRDC, Dr Ken Young GRDC, Dr Liz Waters Wine Australia, Mr Jim Thomson NBC.

Date: 17 November 2017

Venue: Forestry and Wood Products Australia, Melbourne

Attendees: Mr Greg Fraser PHA, Dr Michael Beer AFA, Dr Chris Lafferty, FWPA, Mr Tim Lester CRRDC, Dr Jo Luck PBRI Director, Mr David Moore Hort Innovation, Dr Michael O'Shea SRA, Dr Ian Taylor CRDC, Dr Sharon Harvey Wine Australia, Dr Leigh Nelson GRDC, Mr Matt Koval DAWR, Mr Con Goletsos DAWR.

Date: 16 February 2018

Venue: Hort Innovation, Sydney

Attendees: Mr Greg Fraser PHA, Dr Michael Beer AFA, Dr Chris Lafferty, FWPA, Mr Tim Lester CRRDC, Dr Jo Luck PBRI Director, Mr David Moore Hort Innovation, Dr Michael O'Shea SRA, Dr Ian Taylor CRDC, Dr Liz Waters Wine Australia, Dr Ken Young GRDC, Dr Leigh Nelson GRDC, Dr Kim Ritman DAWR