26 March 2024. Last updated 26 March 2024.

On the evening of Tuesday 12 March, members of the AgForce Biosecurity Committee Belinda Callanan (Chair) and Dr Annie Ruttledge (Secretariat), provided virtual training to the Gold Coast Rural Fire Brigade Group. This voluntary training was initiated at the request of Brett Bain, Group Officer, Gold Coast Rural Fire Brigade Group, who as the son of a Queensland grazier recognised the importance of our shared responsibility for biosecurity. 

The presentation focused on non-fire emergency related activities of the RFS. Topics covered included: 

  • What is biosecurity, and why is it important?
  • Legislative requirements. All people in Queensland have a general biosecurity obligation (GBO) under Queensland's Biosecurity Act 2014 to ensure they do not spread a pest, disease or a contaminant.
  • Farm biosecurity: adhere to farm biosecurity plans where possible, contact landholder before entry (if possible) – call the number on the gate (it’s not there for decoration).
  • Importance of, and how to maintain, vehicle and personal hygiene – come clean, go clean. Utilise roads and established tracks whenever possible. 
  • Identification tips (photos and videos) for key SE QLD weeds and pests (including fire ants).
  • Emergency Animal Diseases. What to look for and how to report. How to avoid accidentally spreading them.

Based on the success of this first meeting, similar training sessions are likely in future. Biosecurity is everyone’s responsibility – and through this kind of training, AgForce are spreading the word.