QR Codes on farm gates can be made "legal requirement" on entry

Qld roll out "Farm Check-In" app to protect against biosecurity risks

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Minister for agricultural Mark Furner said the initiative was developed make sure visitors understand the biosecurity risks that face agricultural properties.

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In the last eighteen months, QR codes have emerged as critical tech protection against the pandemic.

Every pub, shop and restaurant requires you to leave your digital fingerprint to help contact tracers track down and suppress a potential outbreak.

Now, the state government is looking to the same line of defence to protect Queensland agriculture from the biosecurity risks that threaten the $13b industry.

Minister for agricultural Mark Furner said the QR codes should be put on gates and can be made "legal requirement" upon entering a farm.

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"Property owners can install signs at their gate to encourage visitors to check-in, before entering an agricultural property," Mr Furner said.

"For properties with biosecurity management plans, the 'Farm Check-In' can also be incorporated as a condition of entry, making it a legal requirement prior to entry."

Mr Furner said the initiative was developed to assist visitors manage and understand biosecurity risks that face agricultural properties.

"We face more biosecurity threats than any other state and with the community's help we are meeting this challenge," Mr Furner said.

"'Farm Check-In' helps share the responsibility for biosecurity on farms across Queensland."

Mr Furner said the application helps biosecurity planning, and advice for industry and landholders about accessing shared agricultural land.

"The technology is designed to build awareness and encourage good biosecurity practices for all visitors moving on, between and off farms," Mr Furner said.

"By scanning a QR code at the farm gate, visitors access an online checklist to help them understand their general biosecurity obligation and identify biosecurity risks.

"'Farm Check-in' includes links to educational videos and information on good biosecurity practices such as clean-down methods for clothing, vehicles and machinery.

The project includes an on-farm biosecurity portal that lets farmers report biosecurity pest and disease issues online.

"The 'Report a biosecurity pest or disease' portal means people can report a biosecurity concern online in one place instead of the multiple entry points to make a report," Mr Furner said.

"This will make the process of reporting a pest or disease more efficient for industry, the community and for our Biosecurity Queensland staff."

Queensland Farmers' Federation CEO Dr Georgina Davis welcomed the initiation and highlighted the risk posed by biosecurity breaches to Queensland's agricultural businesses.

"Biosecurity incursions are one of the Queensland agriculture sector's greatest business risks with exotic pests, diseases and weeds having a potentially crippling impact on plant production, and animal and welfare systems across the state," Dr Davis said.

"All Queenslanders have a general biosecurity obligation to manage biosecurity risks."

"The Queensland Government's 'Farm Check-In' app empowers farmers to share this responsibility and enables the community to play their part in remaining free from the world's most invasive pests and diseases."

Dr Davis encouraged all farmers to use the application, put signs on their property, and incorporate the app into their biosecurity management plans.

"Australia's biosecurity system plays a critical role in protecting our quality of life and natural environment. So, it is imperative that we all adhere to biosecurity requirements by taking steps to minimise risk and immediately report concerns to Biosecurity Queensland," she said.

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The story QR Codes on farm gates can be made "legal requirement" on entry first appeared on Queensland Country Life.

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