Kevin Humphries

BORDER STATES BRIDGING GAPS TOGETHER

NSW joined forces with Queensland recently to ensure it is in the best possible position to respond to any future biosecurity emergencies  

Exercise Border Bridge is a large-scale biosecurity exercise, which took place from State Coordination Centres in Orange and Brisbane, and a joint Local Control Centre in Toowoomba. It involved the mock-up scenario of an emergency plant pest and animal disease outbreak occurring across both states simultaneously.

Minister for Primary Industries, Niall Blair said the exercise has been months in the planning and will help to strengthen emergency systems and ensure NSW has the most robust plans in place to protect our primary industries. 

“Just like any sporting team, to have the best performance on game day you have to do the practice. This is what Exercise Border Bridge is all about – making sure that in the event of a biosecurity emergency, we have ironed out any issues to ensure the strongest and quickest response possible,” Mr Blair said. 

“Biosecurity emergencies are complex and volatile; they don’t stop at borders. NSW has a reputation for clean, green food and fibre but the one thing that could bring that undone would be a biosecurity incursion.

“This exercise not only provides both states with the opportunity to test their own systems but also to learn from one another and work out where the gaps are in our current response plans.”

This is the largest functional biosecurity exercise held in over a decade, with 260 participants from all Australian states and territories, including 69 from NSW Department of Primary Industries and 35 from Local Land Services. 

There is also significant industry involvement, with representatives from Plant Health Australia, Animal Health Australia, NSW Farmers, Cattle Council of Australia, Australian Lot Feeders’ Association, Australian Dairy Farmers and AUSVEG playing a role.

Functional exercises like this are vital to protecting our $15.4 billion primary industries sector,  the environment and our communities.

Narrabri Electorate Office

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