National Biosecurity Communication and Engagement Network Communiqué

Members of the National Biosecurity Communication and Engagement Network (NBCEN) met online on 17-18 March 2021.

Key topics

Work plan

NBCEN has drafted a three-year work plan that aligns to the national biosecurity communication and engagement strategy. The final work plan will be provided to the National Biosecurity Committee (NBC) for endorsement.

Mission Biosecurity

The Mission Biosecurity website was launched in November 2020. A representative from NSW DPI presented the sites analytical data, since its launch.

The national biosecurity website portal ( was launched around the same time. Web analytics from both websites will be compared to look at their level of visitation and use.

Each jurisdiction is continuing to roll out communication and engagement activities to promote the Mission Biosecurity website. NBCEN has re-established the Mission Biosecurity working group to consider the next steps for the website, and supporting promotional activities. website 

All jurisdictions are participating in the national working group which has been re-established since the website transitioned from BETA to being live.  The Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) is coordinating this group.

The website will host links to the resources on the Mission Biosecurity website.

Public Information function training

Queensland, in conjunction with the National Biosecurity Response Team Advisory Group, will be rolling out public information introductory training in the coming months for all jurisdictions. It will be a train the trainer model to build capacity within agencies.  This will allow each agency to run future training within their own jurisdiction.

Modules of the F2F training package will be developed into online training through a partnership with Animal Health Australia (AHA) and will be hosted on the AHA/Plant Health Australia learning management system.

Better connections with sub-committees 

NBCEN discussed ways of improving communication with various committees that report to the National Biosecurity Committee (NBC). A paper is being prepared that outlines potential improvements on how the group can work more closely with the committees on national communication projects. This paper will be discussed with sub-committee secretariats before being submitted to NBC.

Response to khapra beetle in imported goods

Khapra beetle was detected in two separate shipping containers that were imported in 2020. The goods (refrigerators and highchairs) were distributed across Australia by two retailers. A national response is underway to ensure the pest does not establish in Australia. Find out more.

Australia considers khapra beetle to be the world’s second most damaging plant pest as it poses a major threat to our grains industries.

NBCEN is fulfilling its role in developing and sharing nationally consistent public information material to support the response. The initial tracing and treatment activities were performed by DAWE, with state and territory departments currently undertaking follow-up trapping and surveillance activities. 

The Public Information function established in the Khapra beetle national coordination centre delivered a national communication and engagement plan, supported by materials including fact sheets, industry updates, call centre scripts and website information.


Malcolm Letts – Chair Nicole Cairns – VIC
Kirsten Phillips – QLD DAF Phil Wood - TAS
Louise Morgan – QLD DAF Fontella Koleff - PIRSA
Sian Stringer – ACDP Rick Bryant – DPIRD WA
Sus Perkins – NSW DPI Laura Angus - NT
Sharne Gibbons – DAWE Pip Gare - DAWE
Lisa Keen - WHA Amanda Yong - PHA
Jackie Poyser – AHA Ian McDonald – CISS
Cameron Ross - ALGA Matthew Drennan - ACT

Next meeting

The next face-to-face meeting is yet to be allocated.

Contact NBCEN

For more information about NBCEN contact the Secretariat in the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment by emailing NBCEN or phone (02) 6272 2445.