Inspector-General of Biosecurity to review the current prawn issue

Inspector-General of Biosecurity to review the current prawn issue

The Inspector-General of Biosecurity, Dr Helen Scott-Orr, today formally advised the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources of her intention to commence a review into biosecurity issues surrounding the recent outbreak of white spot disease in prawns in Queensland.

The review will focus on the circumstances leading to the 6 January 2017 suspension of uncooked prawn imports into Australia and the biosecurity considerations relevant to future trade in uncooked prawns.

“Through the review, I will consider how the biosecurity risks associated with the trade were assessed and managed, and identify areas for improvement in the risk management framework for future trade,” Dr Scott-Orr said.

“I have maintained a watching brief for some time on the outbreak of white spot disease of prawns in Queensland, including making my own preliminary enquiries about the nature and extent of the outbreak and potential causes,” she said.

In addition to these enquiries and discussions with industry stakeholders, Dr Scott-Orr has received briefings from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and met with the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources on 7 February 2017 to discuss the situation and advise him that she would be varying her review program.

“Under biosecurity legislation, I am required to consult with the Minister and the Director of Biosecurity about my review program—having done this I can now announce the commencement of a review,” Dr Scott-Orr said.

Dr Scott-Orr intends to offer stakeholders the opportunity to provide their views through a public consultation process as part of the review. Information about the consultation process will be available soon on the Inspector-General’s website (

“It is important that interested and affected parties have the opportunity to put their case to an independent person and that all relevant issues can be thoroughly assessed,” the Inspector-General said.


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