Operation Border Bridge
Select representatives from South East Local Land Services management and animal health teams joined 32 other Local Land Services staff from across the state recently in participating in Operation Border Bridge – a cross border biosecurity emergency exercise.
The operation, the largest of its kind in 10 years, was developed over a twelve month period and involved biosecurity staff from NSW and QLD, spread across operational centres in Toowoomba, Orange and Brisbane.
The operation scenario was based on a pest and disease incursion – one which affected livestock and the other which was a threat to plant production industries.
The scenario covered every aspect of a response to an actual emergency situation in ‘real time’. This included the use of the new biosecurity legislation, IT systems and arrangements already in place to respond to biosecurity incidents in both NSW and QLD.
The experience provided staff with a great opportunity to learn how a large scale response works, with a particular focus on communicating and collaborating in cross-border situations and for the organisations involved to assess their capabilities and identify areas that need development.
Operation Border Bridge will help ensure government and industry are ready to respond to biosecurity emergencies including pest and disease incursions that have the potential to damager Australia’s food and fibre industries.
Operations like this and the recent exercise held at the Bega sale yards are important opportunities for staff to experience the circumstances they are likely to confront if we do experience a biosecurity emergency.