Strengthening our borders through greater collaboration

Heidi Taylor and Colin Hunter signing MoUA new agreement signed in Canberra in February this year, will ultimately benefit Australia’s environment and agricultural industries through improved awareness of the biosecurity risks carried by our surrounding waters.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Department of Agriculture and the Tangaroa Blue Foundation, an organisation focussed on the remedy of marine debris issues with over 25,000 volunteers around the country, formalises a long-standing partnership between the two organisations.

First Assistant Secretary of the Department of Agriculture’s Border Compliance Division, Colin Hunter, said that Tangaroa Blue’s volunteer network was not only keeping our coastlines clean, but helping to keep unwanted pests and diseases at bay.

“The national network of Tangaroa Blue volunteers give up their time to collect and log information about debris that washes up on Australia’s beaches,” Mr Hunter said.

“Knowing what biosecurity risk material is washing up, and knowing where it’s coming from, means we can target our awareness efforts.

“This will enable us to collectively engage across governments, industry and the broader community to formulate source reduction strategies with the aim to reducing ocean pollution and protection of Australia’s pristine environment.

“Safeguarding the country from unwanted pests and diseases is a shared responsibility; we all need to play our part.”

The Tangaroa Blue Foundation has been operating since 2004 and has collected and recorded more than 2.5 million items of marine debris from our coastline.

Photo: Courtesy of the Department of Agriculture - Heidi Taylor and Colin Hunter signing the MoU