December 2021 to June 2023
Dr Mark Schipp, Delegate to WOAH and Australian Chief Veterinary Officer, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), Canberra, Australia informed the WOAH that an exercise program, Exercise Paratus, will be conducted from December 2021 through to the end of June 2023.
The aim of Exercise Paratus is to explore the role of the Commonwealth during a nationally significant biosecurity emergency and enhance Australia’s capability to respond to current and emerging biosecurity threats. The exercise will examine the role of the department alongside Australian Commonwealth Government and inter-jurisdictions responsibilities during a biosecurity crisis.
The objectives of the exercise are to:
1. Practice DAFF’s emergency management arrangements to enhance internal capability to respond to national biosecurity emergencies.
2. Explore jurisdictional requirements for support during an escalating biosecurity emergency.
3. Explore the mechanisms for Commonwealth coordination during a biosecurity emergency of national significance.
4. Explore the application of Commonwealth assistance to a biosecurity emergency of national significance.
5. Explore the application of emergency legislative powers, including the Biosecurity Act 2015, and triggers for their use.
Exercise Paratus is a series of graduated exercise activities including seminars, syndicate discussions and functional exercises. The program is being run in an ‘all hazards’, disease agnostic context where animal, plant and environmental pests and diseases scenarios will be used where relevant.
The majority of the exercises within this program will be virtual (digital/web-based) discussion exercises culminating in a functional exercise in May 2023.
Participants may include states and territories, Australian Commonwealth Government agencies, agricultural and supply chain industry peak bodies and community partners.
For further information, please contact the Exercise Paratus team in the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry at [email protected]
World Animal Health Information and Analysis Department
World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH)