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A$400m Quarantine Facility for Victoria

10 July 2012, at 7:47am

AUSTRALIA - Federal Member for McEwen, Rob Mitchell has announced Mickleham as the chosen location for Australia’s new post entry quarantine (PEQ) facility, an investment worth more than A$400 million in Victoria.

The Gillard Government has acquired 144 hectares of land at 135 Donnybrook Road, Mickleham to build the state-of-the-art facility, Mr Mitchell said.

“This is a very significant investment in our local community and will mean hundreds of construction jobs and around 100 on-going jobs when fully operational,” Mr Mitchell said.

“I know how important major projects like these are to the local economy and I look forward to seeing the facility take shape from next year.”

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, said the PEQ facility will be equipped with the newest and most advanced technology available.

“The importation of new genetic material is necessary to increase competitiveness and productivity in our agriculture sector," Minister Ludwig said.

“This new facility will enable the government to continue to safely monitor the importation of animals and plant material that may pose a biosecurity risk.

"Warren Truss stripped millions of dollars from Australia’s biosecurity system when the Howard Government sold off Australia’s PEQ facilities only to lease them back with no regard for changing land use in peri-urban areas; no maintenance plan; and no plan for the future.

"This investment in critical infrastructure demonstrates the Gillard Government’s commitment to the productivity of Australia’s agriculture sector and maintaining our world-class biosecurity standing."

The PEQ facility, which will commence operation in 2015, provides an investment in Australia’s biosecurity system to strengthen Australia’s defences against pests and diseases for years to come.

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry will operate the Mickleham facility, which will replace current Australian Government PEQ’s with a sustainable, reliable facility that adopts modern technology and operating practices.

This builds on the government’s announcement in the 2011-12 Budget, where funding was provided for the identification and purchase of a site for the PEQ.