The Federal Government has established Biosecurity Response Zones at international airports, describing the move as another strong measure in response to the Indonesian outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD).
The Director of Biosecurity, and Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Andrew Metcalfe AO made the determination to establish the zones this afternoon, the first time this has been done under section 365 of the Biosecurity Act 2015.
Federal Agriculture Minister Murray Watt said the step-up was the latest measure in “the strongest biosecurity response in Australia’s history”.
“Earlier this week, I directed my department to investigate what further control measures were available at our international airports,” Minister Watt said.
“I had been concerned about some rare reports that some return travellers were not doing the right thing when returning from Indonesia.
“These zones strengthen and widen the powers of biosecurity officers to direct passengers to use foot mats and other biosecurity control measures such as the cleaning of shoes.
Minister Watt said the latest measure was on top of already announced measures which had been rolled out in the past two weeks, since the outbreak was first reported in Bali.
“We have wasted no time in getting on top of this issue and have been consistently ramping up measures at our airports and mail centres around the country,” Minister Watt said
“We have already announced a $14 million assistance package to reduce the risk of FMD spreading from Bali to Australia which included increased detection and protection here in Australia and a million vaccines for the Indonesian cattle industry.
“I also announced the deployment of sanitisation foot mats at all international airports as an additional layer of protection for returning travellers from Indonesia.
“These mats have started to arrive in some airports around the country today and passengers will begin seeing them at customs in the coming days.”
Source: Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
A phone call to Brisbane International airport today and disinfectant mats not in use yet. They probably won’t be unitl next week is the information received. If additional staff resources are being employing in country or in Australia, how long is the recruitment process and when will these resources be skilled and active? What a shambles.
Sir, as an export Livestock Consultant, how many times in the past 40 years have i had to try and sanitize my foot ware muddy socks jeans etc in an international hotel bathtub or shower recess on the evening prior to returning to Australian shores. the best way was to get into the shower with the soiled equipment. in previous high risk countries, Malaysia, Vietnam, Turkey, on arrival in the country, you could purchase a pair of “Bata” shoes [A$12.00] in the market place and on the day of departure put the shoes in the Hotel bin. My experience is that a big shortfall in the advice from Aust Quarantine is can we pretravel purchase, retail, airport, a sachet containing citric acid, so that we might efficiently sanitize our own gear and set an example. Thank you