National Biosecurity Award

Published: Thursday, 7 March 2019 at 11:06:02 AM

WA Ports take out environmental excellence award

An innovative marine biosecurity surveillance program developed in collaboration by port authorities in Western Australia and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) has been nationally recognised on stage for its achievements.

The State-Wide Array Surveillance Program (SWASP) received the Collaborative Industry/Government award at the Australian Biosecurity Awards in Canberra on Tuesday, 5 March,

The awards showcase work to minimise the risk of exotic pests and diseases entering Australia, helping to protect the nation’s agriculture industries, environment, native flora and fauna, tourism industries and lifestyle.

The SWASP program was recognised for its innovative early warning system to detect and respond quickly to a potential marine pest incursion.

The surveillance system is a series of settlement arrays, which are underwater marine growth collection devices deployed at 11 State and private ports along the WA coast.

Mid West Ports Authority Environmental Officer Erin Gibbens said the program was a driving point for greater biosecurity awareness.

“This award is a recognition of the wonderful co-operation between WAs port authorities and DPIRD to protect our marine and agricultural environments,” she said.

“We were proud to be involved in driving greater awareness and education on Australia’s biosecurity.”

In October 2018 the SWASP also won the Golden Gecko Award for Environmental Excellence, which recognises leading practice and innovation in environmental management.

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