Biosecurity can't prove its worth: report
THE front-line organisation defending Queensland's agriculture against pests and diseases struggles to prove its effectiveness, a report has found.
A Queensland Audit Office investigation into Biosecurity Queensland found the organisation will complete projects but cannot "always demonstrate it has successfully achieved the ultimate aims”.
The audit investigated the effectiveness of Biosecurity Queensland's programs in combatting the spread of Panama disease, managing wild dogs and surveillance against other threats.
The office found the agency could not prove the worth of programs such as the Wild Dog Management Strategy.
"Although Biosecurity Queensland has met most of its commitments in the strategy, it is unclear what benefits have resulted from the state's investment in wild dog management,” the report said.
"Limited data has been collected by Biosecurity Queensland and no evaluation of the strategy has been completed to date by the Queensland Dog Offensive Group.”
But in contrast Biosecurity Queensland's fight against Panama disease in northern Queensland banana farms has been successful.
"Test results for the Panama program indicate Biosecurity Queensland's containment measures have so far succeeded,” the report said.
"The disease cannot be eradicated, so Biosecurity Queensland has worked to extend the time it and the banana industry has, through outbreak containment, to develop strategies to manage the disease in the long term.”
The QAO report found Biosecurity Queensland had identified its shortcomings and implemented systems to better monitor its programs' effectiveness.
The audit said the agency would facing increasing pressure from a globalised world economy.
"Queensland's biosecurity system must be ready to respond. To maintain community confidence, it must also regularly report on its effectiveness in managing these risks,” the report said.
The report recommended the organisation should better collect data to evaluate how effective programs are and to improve quarterly reporting, and better monitor input and output costs.