Road to deregulation

The next step in the new BJD Framework implementation process has been completed, with Animal Health Australia (AHA) hosting the BJD Communications Plan Workshop on 1 March 2016.

The invitation-only workshop brought together key industry stakeholders, government representatives and producers from around the country to discuss how the changes in BJD management, outlined in the Framework document, would be communicated to industry audiences.

Cattle Council’s Animal Health, Welfare, Biosecurity and Environment Advisor, Justin Toohey was impressed with the amount of stakeholders that participated in the meeting, particularly the number of producers that had traveled to the workshop

“It was great to see so many producers in attendance – I was keen to hear their perspectives.” Mr Toohey said.

The 22 attendees agreed that a coordinated communications strategy was imperative for the successful application of the new BJD Framework, particularly as it would help stakeholders identify their role and responsibilities in the new BJD management structure.

Duncan Rowland, AHA’s Executive Manager Biosecurity Services said that the workshop helped interested parties identify what the key messages, audiences and drivers of the communications plan should be and reinforced the idea of shared responsibility.

“This workshop assisted us in recognising that we can’t rely on one body or group to spread the word about the Framework’s changes and highlighted the need for change champions at the producer, industry and government level to promote the communications messaging.

“We require a cultural change in the management of BJD and for that to happen, we all need to be moving in the same direction. This workshop is the start of that process.”

The key difficulty identified by the group in developing a successful and practical communications strategy was engaging all the states in the process, as there is currently no alignment amongst state governments in regards to the implementation of the new approach.

Alex McDonald, representative of the Australian Registered Cattle Breeders Association said that it had taken 12 months for the industry to develop the new Framework and it now needed further commitment from stakeholders to action the changes. “We’ve agreed to a new management structure that’s going to require a whole-of-industry approach to apply it successfully.

“We’ve fundamentally agreed to a new management structure that’s going to require a whole-of-industry approach to apply it successfully.”

The next stage of the new BJD Framework implementation process will occur on 11 March, when the National BJD Steering Committee are presented with a draft of the communications plan.

For more information on the new BJD Framework click here.

See more from Farm Biosecurity.

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