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Safeguarding our industries: Preparation is key

Central West Local Land Services staff in conjunction with NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), Forbes Shire Council and local Stock & Station agents recently ran an emergency exercise based on an animal disease outbreak scenario to strengthen their emergency response capacity.

Exercise 'Daroobalgie' was designed to test the current Central West Livestock Exchange emergency animal disease response plan and identify roles to assist in the protection of our livestock assets.

Assigned with the scenario of an imaginary disease outbreak inhibiting movement, participants worked together to develop strategies to contain, manage and protect stock held at the Central West Livestock Exchange in Forbes.

Potential areas for improvement in the current response plan were identified with the intent of incorporation into future versions.

Forbes Shire Council Director of Engineering and Technical Services John Zannes welcomed the chance to test the current plan.

“A significant event such as the one the scenario was based on has the potential to affect multiple industries across the region” said Mr Zannes.

“Building the capacity and knowledge of those involved while providing an opportunity to manage and evaluate their roles in the event of a response is vital in ensuring our plan is fit for purpose.

Scenario lead and facilitator for the day, NSW DPI Emergency Management Officer Andrew Elms said "Enacting emergency exercises like this is essential to adequately plan for an emergency response”.

The exercise was a valuable learning experience for all involved, according to scenario organiser Central West Local Land Services Biosecurity Officer Alicia Whiley.

"It’s really important that we all understand our roles in the event of an emergency," said Miss Whiley.

"The Daroobalgie exercise was an excellent opportunity for us to test our response. I am really happy with how we worked together and what we have learnt.

"If and when a real emergency happens, we are definitely better equipped to respond."

ENDS

Media Contact: Fiona Townsend, 0428 284 252, Fiona.townsend@lls.nsw.gov.au