Bug detection earns biosecurity award

Invasive bug response wins national biosecurity award for Greater Sydney Local Land Services

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AWARDED: Lyn OConnell, Australian Government, Bruce Christie, NSW DPI, Lisa Goodchild, Greater Sydney Local Land Services (GSLLS), David Hogan, GSLLS, Federal agriculture minister David Littleproud, and GSLLS members Graham Wilson, Jenny Schabel, Vanessa Keyzer, Linda Dedovic and Koshy Varghese.

AWARDED: Lyn OConnell, Australian Government, Bruce Christie, NSW DPI, Lisa Goodchild, Greater Sydney Local Land Services (GSLLS), David Hogan, GSLLS, Federal agriculture minister David Littleproud, and GSLLS members Graham Wilson, Jenny Schabel, Vanessa Keyzer, Linda Dedovic and Koshy Varghese.

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The quick response to a stink bug detection in NSW has been recognised.

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GREATER Sydney Local Land Services has won a national biosecurity award winner for its work to stop the spread of a highly invasive pest discovered in Glendenning in partnership with NSW DPI.

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) was discovered and reported by Hager Electro warehouse manager, John Matakaiongo, in a shipment of imported electrical equipment from Italy.

Greater Sydney Local Land Services general manager, David Hogan, said what followed was an exhaustive and ultimately successful on-ground campaign by 15 officers over more than six months.

"BMSB is on the Department of Agriculture's top 40 exotic and unwanted plant pest list and poses a significant threat to our $1 billion horticultural industry," he said.

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"If allowed to spread, the impact would be devastating."

Mr Hogan said it was an honour for his team to be recognised.

"The effort of our officers in protecting our agricultural industry from this very serious threat was outstanding," he said.

The response saw 15 officers from across the organisation contribute almost 4500 hours, inspect 2000 traps, scour more than 300 ha of bushland, industrial areas and local homes and deploy more than 180 traps within 5km of the area.

ON TASK: Greater Sydney Local Land Services plant biosecurity officer, Martin Horwood, with Glendenning warehouse manager, John Matakaiongo, who initially reported the discovery of the bug.

ON TASK: Greater Sydney Local Land Services plant biosecurity officer, Martin Horwood, with Glendenning warehouse manager, John Matakaiongo, who initially reported the discovery of the bug.

It also involved speaking to local schools, businesses and residents to raise awareness around the threat of BMSB.

Greater Sydney Local Land Services received a Government Category award for "outstanding contribution to the integrity of Australia's biosecurity."

He praised Mr Matakaiongo and the Hager electro team for immediately reporting the threat.

"Community members play a critical role in keeping our shores pest and disease free by reporting anything unusual," he said.

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