Environment Health Australia​

Our Work  |  Biosecurity

Environmental biosecurity – the protection of our natural environment from harmful exotic weeds, pests and diseases – requires much more attention than it currently receives.

At a time when all research tells us Australia is fast losing native species, we really must do better.

That is why we have launched ‘Keeping Nature Safe’, a proposal for the establishment of Environment Health Australia, a national body dedicated to environmental biosecurity.

Quarantine and biosecurity efforts to protect primary industries like farming and grazing are world class but the environment is currently missing out.

Government knows this. It is time to give the environment the same level of protection we give to agriculture.

Stinting on environmental biosecurity investment now is a false economy. It leaves an ever-growing debt for future generations to pay. Once we allow them to enter and establish, new weeds, pests and diseases cost buckets of money to control

Keeping Nature Safe - Proposal for Environmental Health Australia

Farmers, land managers and community groups working to restore our lands and ecosystems understand this. They have huge resources of knowledge, expertise and commitment that the government would do well to harness in the fight against invasive species.

The Australian Government’s own review of quarantine and biosecurity emphasised the need to involve the community at all levels – from policy and decision-making down.

It is time we moved to enshrine this wisdom in a new body, Environment Health Australia, to bring together all the best expertise on environmental biosecurity.

You too can support Environment Health Australia.

Download the report.

Support for Environment Health Australia

Dr Paul Sinclair, Healthy Ecosystems Program Manager, Australian Conservation Foundation

The Australian Conservation Foundation commends the proposal to establish a national organisation dedicated to securing Australia’s environment against further incursions by invasive species. Environment Health Australia would go a long way towards fixing a critical weakness in our national biosecurity defences and substantially benefit Australia’s environment, communities and economy.

Australian Conservation Foundation logo

Greg Hunt, as Shadow Environment Minister (in a letter to the federal minister for agriculture, 25 May 2012. Greg Hunt subsequently became the federal environment minister)

I strongly support the [Invasive Species] Council’s proposal for EHA and believe if implemented it will lead to many direct environmental benefits.

Hunt letter supporting EHA

Samantha Vine, Head of Conservation, BirdLife Australia

Invasive species are a serious threat to bird species in Australia and much more needs to be done to reduce their impacts. We support the establishment of Environment Health Australia as a logical, practical and flexible platform to facilitate the improved environmental biosecurity performance required to secure the future of Australian birds.

Birdlife Australia logo

Tim Kelly, Chief Executive, Conservation Council of South Australia

We support the establishment of an enduring body to facilitate thinking, planning and action on the threats invasive species pose to the land and marine environment. Environment Health Australia will give the environment the special attention it needs when it comes to preventing, eradicating and controlling invasive species in a strategic manner.

Conservation Council SA logo

Professor Daniel Simberloff, Director for Biological Invasions, University of Tennessee and member of National Academy of Sciences

Environment Health Australia would fill a huge gap in Australia’s defences against new invasive species detrimental to the environment, and I hope the Australian Government can act quickly to establish such an institution.

University of Tennessee

You too can support Environment Health Australia.

Other endorsements

National bodies
  • Australian Conservation Foundation
  • Australian Marine Conservation Society
  • Birdlife Australia
  • Environment Justice Australia
  • Foundation for Australia’s Most Endangered Species
  • Humane Society International
  • Island Conservation
  • National Parks Australia Council
  • The Wilderness Society
  • WWF – Australia
State or local bodies
  • Arid Lands Environment Centre
  • Australian Association of Bush Regenerators
  • Australian Network of Plant Conservation
  • Australian Wildlife Society
  • Braidwood Greens
  • Conservation SA
  • Conservation Council ACT
  • Environment Centre NT
  • Environment Tasmania
  • Environment Victoria
  • Environs Kimberley
  • Friends of Merri Creek
  • Friends of Mosman Park Bushland
  • Gene Ethics
  • National Parks Association of ACT
  • National Parks Association of NSW
  • National Parks Association of NSW – Far South Coast Branch
  • National Parks Association of Queensland
  • Nature Conservation Council of NSW
  • Nature Conservation Society of SA
  • North Queensland Conservation Council
  • Queensland Conservation Council
  • Tambourine Bush Volunteers
  • Tasmanian Conservation Trust
  • Tasmanian National Parks Association
  • Victorian National Parks Association
  • Western Australia Conservation Council
  • Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland
  • Adrian Brierley (artist, director ADi)
  • Andrew Hingston (ecologist)
  • Angus Norman
  • Chris Pavich
  • Daman Langguth
  • Denis Wilson
  • Katherine Howard
  • Keith Primrose
  • Linda Thomas (NSW community weeds officer)
  • Maxine McLaughlin
  • Mona Loofs
  • Nancy Pallin
  • Paul Ross
  • Peter Hobson
  • Rachel Cruttenden
  • Ray Coulton
  • plus two people (anonymity requested)