Emergency Preparedness

The Department of Agriculture (the department) leads the Australian Government in minimising the impact of pests, diseases and contaminants on Australian agriculture, fisheries, forestry and the environment.  These outcomes are achieved by working with stakeholders in peace time to develop and test emergency response plans.  In actual, real-life pest and disease outbreaks, the department has a lead role in the response by coordinating resources, operational and technical support as well as public information.

Coordinating National Responses

The department coordinates national activities to ensure a comprehensive, consistent and informed approach to preparedness and response activities for agricultural critical incidents and participates in a number of high-level committees and taskforces.

Emergency Response Plans

The department assists in the development of sector specific response plans such as:

Information during a biosecurity incident

Communication plays a large part in the response to, and recovery from, a biosecurity incident.  Read more about the national arrangements that are place to make sure industry and the public is kept informed during a biosecurity incident.


BioSIRT (Biosecurity Surveillance Incident Response and Tracing) is a spatial and textual, web based software application that has been developed to enable better management of information and resources in emergency responses across animal or plant diseases, pests and incursions.

Conducting Training and Exercises

The department also conducts and participates in training activities and simulation exercises which have included:

Also see the information on the Rapid Response Team (RRT).

Collaborative Partnerships

The department works closely with many government agencies and industry groups to ensure a unified approach to animal, plant or food safety emergencies.

Some of our partners include:

Contact Us

If you would like to know more about the department's role or our approach to pest and disease emergencies, email the Biosecurity Emergency Management Unit.