The Urban Agriculture Forum took place on on Friday 23 and Saturday 24 February 2018, featuring more than sixty speakers sharing their own experience and research in the field of urban agriculture and the role that it plays in creating liveable cities. AUSVEG representatives Lisa Brassington and Madeleine Quirk attended the event as part of our ongoing work looking for ways to support and protect Australia’s biosecurity.

On the second day of the Forum, Madeleine gave a presentation on urban biosecurity, a concept that is becoming increasingly recognised in Australia and across the globe due to its vital importance in preventing pests and diseases reaching production areas from key entry points like airports or seaports.

Madeleine highlighted the role that urban stakeholders, such as community gardeners, councils and school groups, can play in supporting urban biosecurity and pest surveillance and how this will benefit the wider vegetable industry, and ran through some case studies showcasing the impact of pest incursions through urban zones (such as American experiences with giant African land snails).

Madeleine also introduced the AUSVEG Urban Biosecurity Pilot, which is set to take place between 2018 and 2019. The Urban Biosecurity Pilot is an initiative that aims to inspire urban stakeholders to get involved in biosecurity, and seeks to provide an educational opportunity for these stakeholders to widen their knowledge of critical exotic plant pests. The project also aims to encourage reporting of exotic plant pests in urban community gardens to assist in protecting our production zones.

If you would like to find out more about the AUSVEG Urban Biosecurity Pilot, please contact AUSVEG Biosecurity Officer Madeleine Quirk on 03 9882 0277. You can also always find out about the work AUSVEG does supporting and protecting our industry’s biosecurity in the Biosecurity and Crop Protection section of our website.

For more information on the 2018 Urban Agriculture Forum, please see the event’s website.

This post appeared in the AUSVEG Weekly Update published 13 March 2018.