AUSVEG Biosecurity Officer Madeleine Quirk will be presenting at the 2018 Urban Agriculture Forum, themed ‘From Resilience to Liveability’, with her presentation covering urban biosecurity and its importance to the Australian vegetable industry’s sustainability.

The Forum, to be held from 23–24 February 2018 in Melbourne, will concentrate on three main topics: peri-urban production and the urban-rural interface; the biosecurity governance practices and challenges of urban agriculture; and biosecurity case studies of urban agriculture practice in Australia and worldwide.

Madeleine’s presentation will focus on the importance of engaging urban growers to aid in protecting the Australian vegetable and potato industries. AUSVEG is launching an initative in 2018 which will address urban biosecurity by increasing involvement in (and awareness and education of) biosecurity among urban growers and community gardeners, as described in this excerpt from Madeleine’s abstract:

The majority of Australian vegetable and potato growing regions are located within 200km of city centres. In addition, exotic pest incursions are strongly associated with ports of entry. Therefore urban regions play an important role in the biosecurity space as they can either mediate biosecurity threats by acting as buffer zones between exotic pests and agricultural production areas or act as incubators for those pests. For example, exotic insect pests such as the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug can be brought through ports of entry on shipping containers, placing them in the heart of urban areas. This means that during pest incursions urban growers have the potential to aid in detection and suppression of pests before they reach agricultural regions.


Australia should have a system in place that encourages urban, peri-urban and rural dwellers to work together holistically to implement good biosecurity practices. Upon the establishment of this sub-program, using Melbourne as a pilot, AUSVEG project officers will engage with urban vegetable growers and community gardeners to measure their understanding of plant biosecurity and increase awareness of plant biosecurity practices in this space.

For more information on the Forum or to book tickets to attend, please click here. If you’d like more information on the work AUSVEG does to support our industry and protect its biosecurity, visit the Biosecurity and Crop Protection section of our website.