Facility design

The schematic designs for the new post entry quarantine (PEQ) facility in Mickleham, Victoria are complete and the detailed designs finalised for all compounds.

An updated version of the 3D animation of the facility

Design process overview

The design and development of the new PEQ facility is an extensive project that was undertaken in consultation with industry, stakeholders and the local community of Mickleham. Work on the designs began in June 2012 and construction of the facility started in April 2014. The new PEQ facility began operations in late 2015 with the first intakes of dogs, cats, horses and plants.

Click to open
Key dates and phases in the design process


Master plan June to August 2012

  • layout for site
  • site services purchased
  • high level links

Concept design August 2012 to May 2013

  • building footprint
  • process flows and site wide operation
  • public works committee approval

Schematic design May 2013 to February 2014

  • prototype requirements defined
  • floor plan finalised
  • equipment schedules

Detailed design February 2014 to August 2014

  • room layouts
  • finishes selected
  • construction packages finalised and ready for tender

Design of the facility

Concept designs for all compounds were presented to stakeholders in a series of consultation meetings in early 2013. The details of the schematic and detailed designs were presented to stakeholders at a series of meetings in April and May 2014.

The site

The site at Mickleham, Victoria is rectangular and relatively flat. There was no existing infrastructure or development on the site. The site allows for buffers within the boundaries and separation between activities in line with current biosecurity policies. The development of Polaris Road as the main entry for the site allows multiple entry points and is supplemented by an emergency access point to Donnybrook Road. The development provides a public zone for visitors and deliveries outside the biosecure boundary.

Avian compound

The avian compound combines the current live bird and hatching egg capabilities in a single building envelope that contains a series of separate containment chambers. This employs similar design principles to other facilities with colocated containment areas such as the Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) and Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute (EMAI).

Click to open
Conceptual modelling of the avian compound


Click to open
Floor plan of the avian compound


The combined floor area of the hatching egg units of 360 square metres represents more than a three-fold increase over the Torrens Island PEQ facility at 110 square metres, and is capable of further modular expansion. The incubator capacity of each unit at the new PEQ facility will be a similar size to the current Torrens Island PEQ facility. The facility has significant mechanical plant and waste management requirements to meet the high level of containment required by a QC3 area, and will have complete redundancy for these systems in place. Individual areas are able to be used in isolation or may be occupied concurrently by one importer, depending on the size of the consignment. The capacity of the live bird units has also increased by almost 100 per cent with the total occupancy for pigeons raised to 300 in two separate areas.

Bee compound

The bee compound consists of six flight rooms that will facilitate the import of queen bees. The adjacent placement of local hives will be used to support the quarantine function.

Click to open
Conceptual modelling of the bee compound


Click to open
Floor plan of the bee compound


The building design allows the participation of industry in animal husbandry activities while maintaining biosecurity separation.

Cat and dog compounds

The dog compound in Stage 1 has a capacity of 226 animals. Clusters of animal enclosures surround a central services spine of stores areas, vet examination and grooming rooms, and links to the exercise yards. Noise mitigation measures in the compound include a wall around the compound and acoustic treatments in the ceilings of both the kennel rows and work areas. These measures complement the placement of the compound on the site in reducing the impact of noise across the site and to adjoining land users. The nearest residences are about one kilometre from the site. The collection of solid waste reduces the use of water in cleaning and the wash down of pens. Runoff will be screened before entering municipal sewer services.

Click to open
Conceptual modelling of the dog compound


Click to open
Floor plan of the dog compound


The development principles of the cat compound mirror that of the dog compound with clusters of animal enclosures around a central services spine.

Click to open
Conceptual modelling of the cat compound


Click to open
Floor plan of the cat compound


Stage 2 of the development will begin with an expansion of the companion animal capacity. The capacity of the cat compound will increase from 120 to 240, and the capacity of the dog will increase from 226 to 400.

Click to open
Conceptual modelling of the cat and dog receival building


Click to open
Floor plan of the Cat and Dog Receival building


The cat and dog receival and administration buildings are located adjacent to the cat and dog compounds to make the movement of animals and collection of animals easier. The public can collect cats and dogs after completion of their 10 day quarantine period through the reception area in the administration building, while pet transport companies can collect cats and dogs at the cat and dog receival building. The cat and dog receival building has an area for checking identity and papers on arrival, and for storing crates for reuse on completion of the quarantine period.

Horse compound

The horse compounds, located on the western side of the site, have a combined capacity of 80 horses accommodated in two identical compounds of 40 animals each. Integrated storage for bulk deliveries and waste storage are included at the compound level, rather than at the centralised storage and waste areas for the whole facility. Mechanisms are included for the management of biosecurity risk, including control of access to the compounds through a single point, and decontamination of vehicles delivering animals. An integrated veterinary facility allows close oversight of, or intervention with, an animal in the compound without the need to leave the site during a quarantine period. This building includes a staff area inside the boundary of the compound for rest periods, but does not provide sleeping accommodation. A series of round yards, a horse walker and larger turnout paddocks make significant space available for animals within each compound. The area of each of the two compounds inside the boundary is about four hectares.

Click to open
Conceptual modelling of the horse compound


Click to open
Floor plan of the horse compound


Plant compound

The plant compound is centrally located on the site. It has a capacity of 2000 square metres of glasshouse space, an increase from 1500 square metres in previous commonwealth facilities. This is supported by 1200 square metres of shade house and an integrated diagnostic laboratory. The facility can house a wide range of plant species with different climatic zones created through the management of temperature and humidity settings in the glasshouses. It provides a higher level of quarantine containment in a small QC3 area within the broader QC2 boundary. Waste of a quarantine concern is managed at the compound rather than at the centralised waste area for the whole facility, with steam sterilisers for solid waste and a small liquid waste treatment capability in the laboratory.

Click to open
Conceptual modelling of the plant compound


Click to open
Floor plan of the plant compound


Ruminant compound

The ruminant compound (predominately hosting alpaca imports) provides a simple storage and animal holding facility surrounded by yards and loading/unloading capability. While only a small number of ruminants have been imported in recent years, the new facility will be flexible enough to accommodate similar animals which may be imported in the future. Like horses, consignments of ruminants are managed on an “all in, all out” basis, with a common health status and a quarantine period of up to four weeks depending on the origin of the import.

Click to open
Conceptual modelling of the ruminant compound


Click to open
Floor plan of the ruminant compound


Back to top