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CRC70036: National Communication Strategy Framework

New and emerging industries have a unique opportunity to establish good biosecurity at an integral stage of the development of an industry. This would allow best practices to be established amongst growers early in the life of the industry and benefit the industry as it expands. Yet such industries also have the unique challenge that at this stage of evolution, their limited resources may reduce their ability to undertake biosecurity communication activities.

Research outcomes

The outcomes of this research include the development of a national plant health communications strategy framework and toolkit aimed at enhancing biosecurity awareness and behaviours across Australia’s plant industries.

The communications strategy framework highlights the effective strategies and elements used in previous biosecurity communications campaigns. It then recommends activities that could be adapted for use in future biosecurity communications and campaigns in the plant industry. Some of these recommendations include improved coordination and evaluation of communication activities, efforts to engage ‘gap’ audiences and research to better understand the barriers, drivers and incentives affecting the uptake of biosecurity practices.

The Plant Industry Biosecurity Communications Toolkit has been developed from this report to assist industry organisations plan future communications activities.

Research implications

It is readily apparent that right across the plant sector, and at all levels (from Federal and State Governments to national, state and local industry levels) there is a wide range of communication activities earnestly attempting to address the key issues of firstly raising biosecurity awareness (either reactively or proactively), and secondly, promoting behavioural change by farmers and communities.

However, it is also readily apparent that these activities are not broadly coordinated at the industry and state agency level. This creates an environment where possible duplication, inconsistency and lack of planning can occur in communications/campaign construction, stakeholder engagement and messaging. Also, maximal usage of available resources and materials and learning from previous campaigns is not necessarily undertaken within, among or between industries and agencies.

It is suggested that this scenario can be addressed by a national body actively working with various industries and agencies, and providing agreed tools and resources (the communications framework and toolkit) to streamline and underpin common approaches. Such a body can also play a lead role to address issues to do with gap audiences, leveraging of government resources, and providing consistent high level communications products and biosecurity intelligence.


Marie Bracks-Burns (Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia), Amity Sturwohld (Queensland Primary Fisheries and Fisheries) and Dr Ryan Wilson (Plant Health Australia)


Mr Jim McGrath
Project Leader CRC70036: National Communication Strategy Framework
Phone: 02 6260 4322

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