Plant and Bee Operations Manager


Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment



Salary etc:

$85,833 - $97,454 p.a. (APS6). Ongoing, Full-time or Part-time.



  • Enhance Australia's agriculture & environment through regulation and partnership.
  • Work in state-of-the-art facilities used to manage biosecurity risks.
  • Be part of a dynamic team who collaborate and work to achieve strong outcomes.

Who we are

The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment works to protect Australia's natural resources and helps develop strong agricultural industries. The Biosecurity Operations Division (BOD) takes a regulatory approach to the implementation of effective border controls to manage biosecurity threats. The division delivers its functions across defined pathways, including cargo, mail, conveyances, food and travellers. Border controls include, but are not limited to inspection, assessment, community engagement and contact centre services. The division also provides husbandry services for animals and plants through its post entry quarantine facility.

The Cargo Operations Pathway within BOD delivers regulatory assessment and inspections of goods, across the biosecurity continuum (offshore, at the border and onshore) to verify compliance with Australia's biosecurity requirements, as well as being the first point of contact to the department. Cargo Operations works with policy and risk owners within the department to influence and inform operational policy and deliver regulatory functions in accordance with legislative requirements, national standards and within an integrated, risk-based operating model. The group has a national footprint with a presence in all capital cities and major regional ports.

The Post-Entry Quarantine Group (PEQ) within BOD is responsible for the post arrival quarantine of plants and animals at the Mickleham Post-entry Quarantine Facility located on the outskirts of Melbourne. The Mickleham PEQ Facility is purpose built for accommodating high risk plants, horses, cats, dogs, ruminants, birds, and bees while undergoing post-entry quarantine. Working in partnership with plant scientists and veterinarians, we ensure that all plants and animals passing through the facility meet all necessary requirements to demonstrate compliance with the regulatory requirements for their safe import and that the health and welfare of the plants and animals is maintained throughout the period of their stay in PEQ.

The Job

The main duties of the Plant and Bee Operations Manager within PEQ may include, but are not limited to:

  • Performing a range of biosecurity activities within PEQ in accordance with established quarantine inspection policies and procedures.
  • Implementing and maintaining a high degree of biosecurity control and adherence to procedures to maintain biosecurity integrity.
  • Undertaking a range of plant husbandry duties to care for, treat and monitor plants subject to post entry quarantine.
  • Providing a high level of horticultural and nursery management skills to propagate and maintain valuable plant material undergoing post entry quarantine screening at PEQ.
  • Ensuring strict plant hygiene standards and pest and disease control is maintained at all times to limit the spread of exotic plant pests from and within the nursery.
  • Managing bee import activities.
  • Providing timely and accurate advice on complex biosecurity matters to employees, stakeholders/clients and senior managers.
  • Providing technical, administrative and managerial support to senior staff.
  • Resolving complex operational and technical matters.
  • Liaising with clients and other government agencies, providing advice as necessary.
  • Providing on-the-job training and assist and support other employees on biosecurity issues.
  • Building and sustaining supportive, effective, and collaborative relationships.
  • Actively participating in and contributing to the department's corporate objectives and support change management, including staff and client participation, consultation, and cultural change.
  • Managing, modelling and monitoring compliance with appropriate standards of behaviour including the APS Code of Conduct and Values.
  • Promoting and complying with departmental Work Health and Safety and Rehabilitation policies and guidelines and be alert for and report risks to Work Health and Safety.

Please note that suitable candidates may be selected via application and referee checks only and an interview may not be required.

What we are looking for

Knowledge and experience

The successful applicant will have the following knowledge and experience:

  • An extensive background in horticulture.
  • A strong knowledge of plant species and the ability to learn and recognise common diseases, nutritional issues and pests that pose a threat.
  • An extensive knowledge of a range of plant varieties.
  • Bee management knowledge is desirable.
  • Prior experience working in a regulatory environment and/or in industries related to agriculture.
  • Extensive experience with greenhouse systems.
  • People management and stakeholder management experience.
  • Nursery management and plant propagation experience in a diverse range of crops with experience preferred in budding, grafting, seed propagation and tissue culture.

The successful applicant must:

  • Hold and maintain a valid Australian motor vehicle drivers licence.
  • Note that the ability to perform shift work is a requirement when applying for this position(s).
  • Note that the physical requirements of the role(s) involve a combination of outdoor and office-based work.
  • Note that the position may require them to participate in an on-call roster (for which an appropriate restriction allowance will be paid) and be available to perform duty outside standard hours.
  • Wear an official uniform supplied by the department, including during field operations (as applicable), in accordance with the department's uniform policy.
  • Wear appropriate protective personal equipment and clothing to comply with departmental Work Health & Safety policies and procedures.

Flexible employment arrangements are available with the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.


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