Simulation exercise: Exercise FlyWheel on an exotic disease outbreak in Australia

March 2023

Dr Mark Schipp, Delegate to WOAH and Australian Chief Veterinary Officer, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), Canberra, Australia informed WOAH that an exercise program, Exercise FlyWheel, will be conducted in March 2023. Exercise FlyWheel is a national simulation exercise with the farmed barramundi industry. The exercise involves three activities:

  1. An online workshop to share knowledge and increase understanding of emergency response, biosecurity, industry practices, priorities, and perspectives
  2. A face-to-face discussion exercise where participants will be presented with a suspected disease outbreak scenario and asked to develop an initial response plan
  3. A final online workshop to develop an action plan that addresses gaps in preparedness that were identified in the first two workshops.

Participants include the Commonwealth Government, state and territory governments, farm managers and staff from the barramundi industry, the Australian Barramundi Farmers Association, and aquatic veterinarians.

The aim of the exercise is to test the technical response arrangements for an exotic disease outbreak and ensure they are fit for purpose and include practical information to guide a response in the farmed barramundi sector. To achieve this aim, the following objectives have been identified:

  • Plan the initial response to the detection of an exotic disease using existing contingency planning arrangements
  • Identify and prioritise gaps in preparedness or constraints in responding to a suspected exotic disease outbreak
  • Increase shared understanding about practical considerations for responding to disease outbreaks
  • Create the opportunity to collaborate and build working relationships among industry and government sectors.

For further information about the exercise, please contact Katie Scutt at [email protected].


Ready, set, go! Preparing for emergency disease outbreaks in aquatic animals, is supported by funding from the FRDC on behalf of the Australian Government (project 2020-048) and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. In-kind support has been provided by the ABFA, Biosecurity Queensland, and Agriculture Victoria and project support is being provided by the ABFA and Aquaculture Development and Veterinary Services. This project is also activity 5.3 in AQUAPLAN 2022-2027.

World Animal Health Information and Analysis Department
World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH)
[email protected]