Project history

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Timeline of the new PEQ Facility Project


The concept design work of the future Post Entry Quarantine (PEQ) Facility was completed in early 2013. The proposal was referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works (PWC), which approved the proposed works before construction began. The PEQ project’s referral to the PWC was considered at length by the committee including at a public hearing on 27 March 2013. On 15 May 2013, the PWC presented its report to Parliament regarding the PEQ project. The report is available in PDF format at Chapter 3 of the PWC Report 2/2013 on the PWC website. The PWC recommended that the PEQ project design and works proceed. Following this, an ‘Expediency Motion’ (approval) was passed by Parliament on 16 May 2013. This approval enabled the completion of the PEQ project design phase and the start of construction. Further information on the PWC process for this project is on the PWC website, Construction of a new post–entry quarantine facility at Mickleham.  

PWC – Avian Expert Advisory Group

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works (PWC) held a hearing into the design of a new quarantine facility on 27 March 2013. During the hearing, the PWC sought advice regarding the suitability, from a biosecurity perspective, of holding separate consignments of live birds and fertile eggs for hatching in adjacent biosecurity containment sub-units within the same facility. Specifically, the PWC sought assurance that the risk of transmission of any potential pathogens between the proposed avian quarantine imports, and the risk of cross species pathogenic transmission from avian consignments within the facility to other animal species, proposed to be held in other locations at the new quarantine facility, was not heightened as a consequence of co-locating them. The department undertook to convene an Expert Advisory Group to independently examine and advise on the suitability of co-locating five separate and independently engineered and operated quarantine sub-units within a single facility. The Expert Advisory Group (EAG) considered this issue and drew the following specific conclusions:

  • The EAG is satisfied that Physical Containment level 3 (PC3) is suitable for the containment of avian pathogens and diseases and that the design of the government’s proposed avian quarantine building has suitable redundancies to maintain biocontainment in the event of an equipment or systems failure.
  • The EAG is satisfied that PC3 is suitable for the containment of avian diseases within each of the subunits in the proposed department design. Together with the department’s proposed exclusion enhancements to PC3 containment, the EAG is satisfied that the proposed design provides sufficient biosecurity separation between consignments held in different subunits of the proposed avian building.
  • The EAG is satisfied that birds held in the proposed avian quarantine building will not pose a biosecurity risk to any animals outside the avian building and that animals outside the avian quarantine building will not pose any biosecurity risk to birds held in the building.

The Expert Group’s full report is available here*:

The members of the Expert Advisory Group were:

  • Dr Hugh Millar, Executive Director Biosecurity Victoria (chair)
  • Dr Kurt Zuelke, Director, Australian Animal Health Laboratory
  • Dr Kevin Doyle, Veterinary Director, Australian Veterinary Association
  • Dr Matthew Stone, Ministry for Primary Industries, New Zealand
  • Dr Peter Scott, Scolexia Animal and Avian Health Consultancy
  • Dr Paul Gilchrist, veterinary advisor to avian importers
  • Mr Neil Walls, engineer specialising in biocontainment
  • Dr Mark Schipp, Australian Chief Veterinary Officer

*This publication was not prepared by the department and may not meet Australian Government accessibility guidelines. If you require an accessible version of the publication, please contact its author.

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