Australia’s physical isolation has fostered the
development of our unique environment with its
amazing diversity of plants and animals, many
found nowhere else in the world. Our isolation
also underpins our enviable position of being free
from many serious pests and diseases that circulate
around the world. Australia is also a great trading
nation. Our prosperity is built on the import and
export of goods and services but with them, can
come pests and diseases.
Exotic animals, plants, pests and diseases can have
significant impacts on agriculture, the environment
and economy. In Australia’s history, there are a
number of iconic examples firmly in the national
psyche – foxes, rabbits, prickly pear to name a few.
Effective biosecurity will always be important in
maintaining the efficiency of Australian agricultural
industries and in protecting the environment.
For Australia, because of its unique fauna and
flora, biosecurity is a key national priority. CSIRO’s
continued commitment to biosecurity is clear
through the development of a new National
Research Flagship focused on this critical area.
The Biosecurity Flagship draws on the expertise
of around 200 CSIRO staff contributing to work on
biosecurity problems to help meet key national
challenges. The mathematical and statistical
sciences play a key role and Australia is well placed
to innovate in this area.
To help address this important issue in 2013, the
International Year of the Mathematics of Planet
Earth, a free two-day workshop is being organised.