Call for commercial growers to register sensitive sites
Western Australian growers with sensitive commercial agricultural production systems are reminded to register their properties with the Department of Agriculture and Food for inclusion in its 2016 Sensitive Sites Map.
Department Plant Biosecurity director John Van Schagen said the free service was provided to allow producers to report the location of their sensitive agricultural production systems and assist in the co-existence of different production systems.
“The service helps protect sensitive sites by providing growers with information to consider their systems, and prepare and implement risk management strategies, in order to minimise the potential negative impact on other growers,” Mr Van Schagen said.
“Sensitive sites are properties the owner and department consider sensitive to activities on nearby land,” he said. “Sensitive production systems include certified organic, certified biodynamic, aquaculture, horticulture, viticulture and tree nurseries.”
Mr Van Schagen said it was essential producers communicate directly with their neighbours to help protect their sensitive sites, in addition to checking information provided by the department.
New registrations are welcome and growers currently included in the service are reminded to check their registration and advise of any changes for 2016.
The department verifies registered properties fit within the scope of a sensitive site, and subsequently include sensitive sites on the map.
To register for Sensitive Sites 2016, email firstname.lastname@example.org by the deadline, 10 February 2016.
Growers without internet access can contact Dr Modika Perera, policy officer Plant Biosecurity, on +61 08 9368 3526.
In 2015 there were almost 270 sensitive sites registered in the State’s agricultural areas, including viticulture, organic, aquaculture, honey, biodynamic and horticulture production systems. They can be viewed on the department website.
The map is updated annually and since the service began in 2011, there has been a 53 per cent increase in the number of registered sensitive sites.