Spend a day with NSW DPI biosecurity officer | Video

SECURE TRADE: Lloyd Kingham of NSW DPI discusses biosecurity issues within the agriculture and horticulture sectors. Picture: Nikki Reynolds
SECURE TRADE: Lloyd Kingham of NSW DPI discusses biosecurity issues within the agriculture and horticulture sectors. Picture: Nikki Reynolds

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WORKING in biosecurity helps to keep pests and diseases out of growing areas. 

Lloyd Kingham is a plant biosecurity officer with NSW Department of Primary Industries based in Wagga. 

It is his job to facilitate trade and market access but at the same time maintain high levels of disease-free status. 

6.30am: He is awoken by the blackbirds singing which provides an ideal alarm clock. Then it’s time for tea and toast while watching the news. And he jokes that “I then pop a hay-fever tablet.”

8.15am: After a quick walk to work he arrives at the office. Often the urgent emails are checked during breakfast to assess whether there is anything that needs to be dealt with straight away. There are two Local Land Services employees who check 70 Queensland Fruit Fly traps weekly across 17 different locations around Batlow, Young and Orange. This time is used to touch base and get any reports from these inspections. 

10.00am: “I have coffee with my childhood sweetheart,” Mr Kingham says. His wife is Tracey and she also works at the NSW DPI precinct. The meet at  the “Greasy Spoon” cafe. “We go through what is known as the dance of the diaries,” he laughs. This is an opportunity to discuss family business and upcoming events. 

10.30am to 1pm: This is a really important time of the day. Often the door is closed and it is time to buckle down with limited distractions. 

1pm: Lunch is either at the office or entails a quick walk home.

1:45pm: Essential communication is entered into. It may include talking to officials in Western Australia. One of the current projects being overseen involves transporting 1.5 tonnes of blood oranges from Griffith in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA) to Western Australia.

There is potential scope to air freight produce to these regions too. 

3pm: After a quick “water break” Mr Kingham will look closely at the newly implemented biosecurity act. This act was brought in 12 months ago and is described as a work in progress. Being a legal “instrument” it is subject to updates and changes. 

5pm to 5.30pm: The question of  “what’s for dinner” from Mr Kingham’s son Isaac is discussed and they settle on a family favourite of paella. 

7pm: They head to the pool where Isaac plays a game of water polo and then joins his dad to complete a one-mile swim. 

8.30pm: Isaac tackles the homework and Mr and Mrs Kingham will use messenger to catch up with their daughters Hannah and Grace who are studying in Melbourne.