Push to improve Top End biosecurity

The Hon David Littleproud MP
Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia
  • Grant awarded to a collective of organisations led by Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities (AMRRIC)
  • Project is one of five to receive funding under round 1 of the Australian Government’s Biosecurity Business Grants
  • Grants are for Indigenous businesses or organisations working with Indigenous people to improve biosecurity
  • A grant worth $1,257,267 to improve animal biosecurity has been awarded to Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities (AMRRIC).

    Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud said in delivering the three-year project, AMRRIC were partnering with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations across six regions in Northern Australia.

    “This project will be a great example of collaboration to achieve a worthy goal,” Minister Littleproud said.

    “By working in partnership with rural and remote Indigenous communities, as well as coordinating with government and non-government stakeholders, AMRRIC will establish a community-driven system for improving animal health in northern Australia.

    “Using their app, AMRRIC will deliver training to community members in animal health data capture. This information will contribute to a database that can identify animal health risks and be shared with biosecurity authorities.

    “Working in over 20 communities from the Torres Strait through to the Kimberley, AMRRIC expect to employ 42 community members through fee-for-service arrangements with community-based collaborators.

    “Because of the remoteness of a lot of communities in northern Australia, authorities can have a hard time detecting animal diseases in a timely manner.

    “Unfortunately, we’ve seen this play out in real time with the outbreaks of Ehrlichia canis devasting dog populations across northern Australia.

    “By introducing this new project, not only will the biosecurity authorities be able to build up a more reliable picture of the state of animal health across northern Australia, but by developing animal health skills and knowledge at a local level, the communities involved, and their animals, will benefit.

    “Northern Australia is the frontline for defending the nation’s biosecurity, and I couldn’t be prouder of the work AMRRIC are doing to both protect biosecurity and build Indigenous economic opportunities.”

    AMRRIC CEO Dr Brooke Rankmore said that AMRRIC has a long history of working in partnership with remote Indigenous communities on projects that acknowledge the inseparable link between the health of companion animals and that of their owners and communities.

    “AMRRIC is excited to bring its unique approach to improving remote Indigenous biosecurity capacity and supporting Indigenous employment across over 20 communities in northern Australia,” Dr Rankmore said.

    “This project will provide local employment and training opportunities, improve digital and data literacy, and provide significant advancements in biosecurity education, awareness and capacity across the region.”

    For more details on the five successful round 1 projects visit the Biosecurity Business Grants website awe.gov.au/biosecurity-business-grants.

    Fast Facts:

    • Project partners include the Torres Strait Island Regional Council (QLD), Napranum Aboriginal Shire Council (QLD), Thamarrurr Development Corporation Limited (NT), NAQS Surveillance – Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment and Wildlife Health Australia.

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