Cooperation safeguards KI's biosecurity
Active Tree Services, a mainland based company contracted to carry out various tree trimming activities across Kangaroo Island including power lines across farm land, have sought to work with Natural Resources Kangaroo Island (NRKI) and SA Power Networks to ensure their biosecurity responsibilities are up to scratch.
Andrew Triggs, Biosecurity Liaison Officer at NRKI, says that both SA Power Networks and companies like Active Tree Services have actively sought him out to ensure that best practice is observed with all matters relating to biosecurity.
“‘It is really encouraging that private companies are taking a proactive approach to protecting KI and that they share the responsibility for biosecurity protection.” said Mr Triggs.
“It is really important, that everyone understands how they can contribute to this effort and Active Tree Services recognise that they could bring in weeds, plant disease, soil or insects that could adversely impact on KI and that they are doing something to reduce the risk.”
As part of their standard operating procedures, Active Tree Services undertake an array of proactive measures in order to reduce their biosecurity risk including:
• cleaning, inspection and disinfection of equipment before loading on Cape Jervis ferry;
• compliance with requirements of honey and potatoes as part of their provisions being brought to KI;
• cleaning of vehicles between movements on KI, where required;
• suitable disposal of mulch to ensure that even local species aren’t moved across KI;
• reporting of unusual pest animals and plants; and
• contacting the biosecurity liaison officer to inform them of their intentions prior to travel to KI.
Nick Shelton, Operations Manager for Active Tree Services, said that they recognise how important biosecurity is to KI.
“We understand that landholders may be worried that we might spread weeds, so we ensure that we do everything we can to clean our machinery and check it so we reduce the likelihood of causing problems,” said Mr Shelton.
This collaborative approach is shared by SA Power Networks who also have biosecurity procedures in place for their own vehicles and personnel with documented procedures for checking vehicles and advising landholders of their intentions to service and maintain powerlines.
Allison Purnell-Sullivan, Environment and Sustainability Manager with SA Power Networks, said “we are always looking at how we can reduce our impact on the environment and having biosecurity procedures in place is a big step in reducing risk to both the environment and agricultural enterprises where our power lines traverse,” said Ms Purnell-Sullivan.