Australia faces biosecurity threat: CSIRO

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Australia is at risk of increased disease outbreaks, pest incursions, and weakened exports, a report from the national science agency says.

The amount of biosecurity risk materials intercepted in Australia increased by about 50 per cent in the five years to 2017, the CSIRO paper released on Wednesday states.

It said the risk of biosecurity threats like pandemics were on the rise, fuelled by global trade and travel, urbanisation, climate change, biodiversity loss and antimicrobial resistance.

The report warns that Australia's current biosecurity model isn't equipped to handle these growing threats and could expose it to significant social, environmental and financial consequences over the next decade.

It says the national biosecurity system needs to be more resilient, coordinated and collaborative, as well as improving communication, sharing responsibility, and support the development of new technology.

CSIRO health and biosecurity director Dr Rob Grenfell said COVID-19 demonstrated the "interconnectedness" between human, animal and environmental health.

"We need to transform Australia's biosecurity system so it can cope with the growing volume and complexity of threats," Dr Grenfell said.

"How Australia navigates the changes needed over the next decade will significantly impact the health of Australians, our communities, ecosystems and agricultural systems and food security into the future."

Centre for Invasive Species chief Andres Glanznig said transforming the biosecurity system could open new export possibilities for Australian companies.

Plant Health Australia chief Sarah Corcoran said the advanced data sharing systems discussed in the CSIRO report would enable governments, industry and researchers to quickly respond to biosecurity threats.