Hon Ken Baston MLC

Hon Ken Baston MLC

Former Minister for Agriculture and Food; Fisheries

Hon Terry Redman MLA

Hon Terry Redman MLA

Former Minister for Regional Development; Lands; Minister Assisting the Minister for State Development

    Improving responses to plant and animal threats

    9/12/2015 6:10 AM
    • Mock threat to play out in May 2016 in Bunbury
    • Exercise APOLLO is part of the Boosting Biosecurity Defences project

    Western Australia will help protect the State's food, plant and animal industries by hosting a major mock exercise in Bunbury next May.


    Named Exercise APOLLO, it will present a simulated livestock disease emergency over three days and test WA's response to it.  The exercise is part of a number of activities in the Department of Agriculture and Food to build emergency response capability in staff and in industry.


    Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston said it was part of the State Government's commitment to safeguard WA's agriculture industries.


    "When an emergency happens, it can be devastating.  We need to learn from incidents across Australia and around the world, to prevent it happening here or to deal efficiently with it, if it does happen," he said.


    Mr Baston cited the equine influenza or horse flu epidemic in Queensland and New South Wales in 2007 where horse transport was prevented, forcing the cancellation of equestrian events and restrictions on horse movements for many months.


    Today, the Department of Agriculture and Food will host a briefing about Exercise APOLLO for key industry and government stakeholders.


    "Protecting the State's biosecurity reputation is crucial to maintaining access to valuable markets and to grow exports," Mr Baston said.


    Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said Exercise APOLLO was part of the $20 million Boosting Biosecurity Defences project made possible by the Royalties for Regions $300 million investment in the Seizing the Opportunity Agriculture initiative.


    "Strong and innovative biosecurity defences will contribute to securing the future of WA agriculture by protecting our existing and future markets, and generating flow-on benefits to the regional economy," Mr Redman said.


    Fact File

    Agriculture and Food Minister's office - 6552 5400

    Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700