Higher-risk importers and exporters, and their products, are amongst a collection of biosecurity concerns that need to be targeted to ensure high levels of biosecurity continue in Australia. Recent reviews of Australian biosecurity have argued strongly that current security systems, including quarantine inspection, are more efficient and effective if they target potentially high-risk importers and exporters, regions and environments, and transportation routes.
A risk-based approach for managing biosecurity requires a robust and quantitative understanding of the complex networks within which Australian trade, transportation, and tourism operate, and the associated risks of different routes for both the intentional and accidental introduction of pests and pathogens into Australia.
Australia needs to quantify and analyse the changing biosecurity risks through advances in statistical and mapping tools. This can be achieved by:
- Developing a variety of statistical and computational approaches that focus on similar environmental regions, economic regions and social regions, with which Australia shares common traits.
- Gaining evidence-based and quantitative assessments of the network strengths that are most relevant to Australia’s existing and future biosecurity risks.
- Evaluating the use of unique datasets, scenario testing and sensitivity analyses for areas of risk where data is either unavailable or incomplete.
Environment Institute member Associate Professor Phillip Cassey, an expert in biosecurity, proposes the use of critical analytical techniques to aid studies in biosecurity risk assessment. This area is currently characterized by complexity and uncertainty.