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Policy Officer

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources

Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia

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Job Posted: 04/10/2017

Job Category:

Government / Defence / Policy & Legislation

Job description:

Biosecurity Plant Division provides a contemporary, responsive, sustainable, intelligence-led and science-based plant biosecurity system that protects Australia's plant health status. The division supports agricultural productivity, competitiveness and market access for plant and plant products imports and exports. The division pursues new market access for Australian exporters, particularly opportunities arising from finalised free trade agreements. Biosecurity Plant Division protects industry and the community, and maintains and ensures industry benefits from Australia's favourable plant health status.

The Plant Systems and Strategies Branch provides cross divisional coordination, support and strategic capability to facilitate core plant processes. The branch program manages the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper and the transition of the division to a new operating model. The branch provides strategic analysis and advice, and technical capacity building, to facilitate import and export market access priorities and to build strong relations with trading partners and industry.

The Market Coordination & Strategy Section operates across the department’s Biosecurity Plant Division to provide strategic analysis and advice to facilitate Australia’s market access priorities for plants and plant products. The team applies a portfolio perspective in aligning activities with other trade interests and contributes to the department’s strategic approach to market access and international engagement. The team is responsible for engagement with domestic stakeholders including jurisdictions and is also the primary liaison point for plant sector industry bodies on market access issues. The team contributes to the industry prioritisation processes for plants and plant products through Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited, the Grains Industry Market Access Forum and other bodies.

The Job
An opportunity exists for a highly analytical and strategic APS 5 policy officer, who can work effectively in a dynamic and responsive team with a high level of liaison with government, industry and international stakeholders. The role requires an analytical and creative problem solving approach, well developed strategic thinking abilities along with excellent written and verbal communication skills and an awareness of the global trade environment.

Key responsibilities/duties:

• Contributing to the development of international engagement and commodity strategies;
• Engaging with government, industry and international stakeholders to facilitate cooperation and achieve outcomes;
• Providing high quality and responsive policy analysis and advice;
• Data and intelligence gathering and analysis using a range of formats to meet business needs;
• Development of strategic approaches for the trade of horticultural and grain products in key markets;
• Coordinating industry meetings and international engagements, including administration and participation;
• Business of government activities including briefing, correspondence and the diplomatic cable network;
• Establishing and maintaining productive working relationships with internal and external stakeholders to achieve an outcome.

Knowledge and experience
• An understanding of the national and international framework for exporting goods from Australia or of plant and plant product export industries would be an advantage
• Awareness of export industries and global trade environment
• Previous experience in government agencies would be an advantage
• Demonstrated experience and/or interest in the fields of trade, agriculture and/or science

Skills and capabilities
The successful candidate will have:

• An analytical and creative problem solving approach;
• Well developed strategic thinking abilities;
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills;
• An ability to harness information and inform opportunities to lead and implement market access policy development, negotiations or improved practices and processes;
• Well-developed listening, negotiation and stakeholder management skills;
• High quality verbal and written communication skills and attention to detail to engage internal and external clients including preparing a range of communications material to support the work of the team;
• High level of research and data analysis skills to support business needs and inform country strategies;
• Demonstrated ability to work effectively in a team, manage performance and priorities and contribute positively to team culture;
• Ability to work independently to meet work targets and deadlines and produce consistently high quality outputs;
• Ability to work under pressure, prioritise and manage time effectively to achieve the collective goals of the team;
• A commitment to continuous improvement and demonstrated ability to implement and respond to change.

Desirable Qualifications
A degree in a trade or plant, agricultural or environmental related scientific disciple is desirable.

To be eligible for employment with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, an applicant must be an Australian citizen.

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