Free online plant biosecurity courses get upgraded

Plant Health Australia revamps free online course offerings

Horticulture
READY: A screenshot from the Plant Health Australia website showing the various training options now available.

READY: A screenshot from the Plant Health Australia website showing the various training options now available.

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There is free training available to get educated on reporting biosecurity issues.

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IT'S hoped a more interactive interface and new features will draw more participants to free Plant Health Australia (PHA) online courses.

The organisation has re-launched three revamped online courses to offer greater interactivity and designs to enhance the online learning experience.

The three courses, Plant Biosecurity in Australia Pest Reporting and Responses (for Growers and Researchers) now feature improved graphics and interactive elements such as pop-up text boxes and flip text boxes.

PHA's Biosecurity Online Training (BOLT) platform provides e-learning courses related to emergency plant pest and disease preparedness, arrangements and biosecurity.

Access to BOLT courses is free and available to anyone with an interest in biosecurity.

The Plant Biosecurity in Australia course provides a summary of the Australian biosecurity system and how emergency responses to plant pests are managed under the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed (EPPRD).

This course replaces the PHA Foundation course.

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PHA's general manager, emergency response Dr Susanna Driessen said by reporting an exotic pest or disease early, there is a greater chance it will be successfully contained and eradicated.

"For this reason it is vital to report any suspected new pests, pathogens or new hosts," Dr Driessen said.

"This course is aimed at anyone interested in plant biosecurity in Australia and is a prerequisite course for biosecurity training delivered by TOCAL College as part of the Biosecurity Response Training Australia (BERTA) program."

The short course, Growers - Pest Reporting and Responses, is aimed at growers, farm workers and agronomists, and provides a better understanding of reporting and responding to plant pests.

"This course focusses on the role of growers in reporting and responding to plant pests in Australia. Growers, farm workers, and agronomists will get a better understanding of how to report pests and what happens after they do," she said.

"Reporting increases the chance of effective control and eradication, which reduces the impact on agriculture.

"This is what will keep our industries competitive, healthy and in-demand for years to come."

Researchers have an obligation to report plant pests that are potentially exotic to Australia or new to a specific region.

The Researchers - Pest Reporting and Responses course highlights the benefits of biosecurity, how to implement biosecurity practices and how to report a new or unusual pest or disease.

Courses undergo regular reviews to ensure they remain current and relevant.

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