As 2015 begins, so does another year of construction at the site of the new Post Entry Quarantine Facility in Mickleham, Victoria.
Since construction commenced in May 2014, the site has been a flurry of activity. Cameras at the site have been on duty to collect daily images of the construction progress.
Industry clients and individuals who access the Department of Agriculture post entry quarantine services have taken part in a collaborative process to redesign how biosecurity services will be delivered at Australia’s new Post Entry Quarantine Facility, due to commence operations in 2015.
Some people might wonder why the future PEQ facility will have a compound devoted to bees. Bees don’t just provide delicious honey, but also honey products such as beeswax, and pollination services. Australia imports queen bees for the purpose of increasing genetic diversity and disease resistance within our bee populations. Around the world, there are a number of pests and diseases which can impact on bees. Some of these, including Varroa mite and Tracheal mite, are not currently present within Australia.
Since the official sod turning in May, there has been a great deal of activity at the future PEQ site. A number of Phase 1 buildings have started to take shape including the bee and plant compounds, the central utilities building and the dispatch building. For further information on these buildings click here.
The Department of Agriculture has released a national procurement tender for the provision of dog and cat food and kitty litter to support operations within current and future Post Entry Quarantine (PEQ) facilities.
As part of Whole of Government arrangements, this procurement tender was released through the Government tender web site - AusTender.
On 1 May 2014, the Minister for Agriculture, The Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP, and the Parliamentary Secretary for Finance, The Hon. Michael McCormack MP, undertook a sod-turning at the site, publicly announcing the commencement of construction. A variety of stakeholders were also invited to attend the event, representing a mixture of plant and animal commodities that will be supported by the future PEQ facility.
The 2014-15 Budget includes continuing investment in the design and construction of the new post entry quarantine facility for high risk plant and animal imports. In 2014-15, the Australian Government will invest in excess of $140 million towards this initiative, $9.5 million of which will be allocated to the Department of Agriculture for transition purposes.