Australia’s biosecurity system valued at $314 billion

10 November 2020
  • The Australian Government collaborated with the University of Melbourne’s Centre of Excellence for Biosecurity Risk Analysis to put a dollar value on Australia’s biosecurity system.
  • When modelled over 50 years, the value of the biosecurity system is $314 billion, protecting assets valued at over $5.7 trillion over the same period.
  • The model demonstrates the benefits of the Australian Government’s investment in biosecurity.

The findings of a multi-year project show that, when modelled over 50 years, the value of Australia’s biosecurity system is $314 billion. This represents an average return of $30 for every dollar invested by the Australian Government.

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud said the project reaffirms why the Australian Government is investing record amounts into our biosecurity system and what is at stake if we reduced or stopped our investment in biosecurity.

“This groundbreaking project puts a dollar figure on how much value the national biosecurity system provides by protecting our assets. This value will be much higher when state and territory and industry investments are modelled.

“Biosecurity isn’t just about food and fibre, it also protects our environment, infrastructure and other critical assets, which the report values at $251.5 billion a year, and $5.7 trillion over 50 years.

“The value of the system is based on what would happen if we did nothing — that is, what would Australia look like if the system was turned ‘off’. 

“It is clear that Australia’s biosecurity system yields large positive benefits for all Australians, our agricultural industries, and the environment that we live in.

“These are initial results of a model that will continue to be developed and refined. We will combine the model with existing approaches used by the Australian Government to fine tune our biosecurity controls to ensure we get the biggest return on managing biosecurity risks from our investment.

“The Australian Government has a strong and proud record of investment, innovation and reform to ensure our biosecurity system remains world-class, and we will continue to build on this work to maintain our enviable pest and disease status,” Minister Littleproud said today.

Fast Facts:

  • Biosecurity is fundamental to agricultural sector’s ambition to reach a $100 billion industry by 2030: https://www.agriculture.gov.au/ag-farm-food/ag2030  
  • The project contributes to implementation of the 2016 independent review of Australia’s biosecurity system.
  • The project was delivered in a collaboration between the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment and the Centre of Excellence for Biosecurity Risk Analysis (CEBRA), at the University of Melbourne.  
  • By 30 June 2021, the Australia Government will have allocated $14.36 million over CEBRA’s eight years of operation. 
  • The Valuing Australia’s biosecurity system report is available here.