Advancing collaborative knowledge systems for plant biosecurity surveillance

Project Number


Project Type & Status


Project Leader


Dr Kirsten Maclean
Dr Tabitha Wallington
Dr Ryan McAllister
Prof Ruth Wallace
Kerry Collins

Advancing collaborative knowledge systems for plant biosecurity surveillance

Final Report Summary

This project tested the hypothesis that remote communities in northern Australia can contribute to the effective delivery of plant biosecurity surveillance. It draws on case-study research with relevant government, industry and natural resource managers (including Indigenous groups) to identify how different kinds of knowledge (science, policy, industry, Indigenous) can be effectively managed to contribute to remote and regional surveillance systems. The research highlighted the importance of designing appropriate stakeholder engagement processes to ensure responsibility for preparing and responding to biosecurity risks can be shared between local landholders, agricultural enterprises and community groups. Effective stakeholder engagement to manage biosecurity risks is not easy.
Our research shows that different stakeholders often have different knowledge about biosecurity, different levels of capacity to respond to these risks and different motivations to engage or disengage from a biosecurity surveillance or response program. Methods to build collaborative knowledge sharing and stakeholder engagement processes into biosecurity surveillance and emergency programs were key outputs developed as a part of this project.
A stakeholder engagement methodology ‘Working together for biosecurity’ has been developed through a range of case-studies that integrate different remote contexts in northern Australia. We have shown that efforts to engage stakeholders in biosecurity must occur during both the ‘preparation’ mode of day-to-day prevention and surveillance, as well as during the investigation, alert, operational and stand-down phases of an emergency response. Stakeholder engagement also requires careful planning during the critical transition period between preparation and emergency.
The ‘Working together for biosecurity’ methodology guides stakeholder engagement using five steps over two stages. This builds on the National Biosecurity Engagement and Communication Framework (National Framework) which details how to design, share and use relevant communication tools and products. The Working together for biosecurity stakeholder engagement framework has been developed through collaborative research with a range of stakeholders including growers, community gardeners, Indigenous groups and government organisations across Northern Australia. A manual has been developed to support uptake and methodology support tools. 


Watch the video Working together for plant biosecurity: how to effectively engage stakeholders.


Download the brochure Working together for plant biosecurity: how to effectively engage stakeholders (PDF, 4.57 MB).


Download the Working together for plant biosecurity: how to effectively engage stakeholders poster (PDF, 1.78 MB).


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