Artis Group has been helping the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (DPI) to build product solutions in response to a fire-ant outbreak at one of the nation’s largest ports, Port Botany.
Over the past week, a team of 25 biosecurity and pest experts and three odour detection dogs have been working to contain an outbreak of fire ants. The situation has the potential to cost the state economy billions of dollars through disruption of the facility.
Department agents and emergency response authorities are relying on expert knowledge and IT using the BIS (Biosecurity Information System) to help contain the outbreak.
Artis Group is supporting the custom-built web application, with BIS designed to “track, capture, manage and contain health/biosecurity events and the threat of disease outbreaks, with audit, surveillance, certification, advisory, and incident management capabilities,” according to Artis Group technical lead, Justin Domaingue.
Artis said the biosecurity risk management solution was developed to allow users to configure the application to deal with a specific emergency.
“DPI are using the application to track both entities and events to specific locations, where they are checking ant traps, then recording and tracking data against that location,” said Domaingue.
Any data on movements, or public citing will also be available for predictive analysis, adding to historical data already available in BIS.
Artis Group managing director, Chris Greatrex, said it is important to have theses kind of solutions developed by Australian companies.
"Our award-winning solution has all the mobility, geospatial and centralisation of data collection features needed to help manage and control the outbreak."
The solution is currently in use across biosecurity domains of livestock, plants, and fishers. It has also recently been deployed by the Queensland Department of Agriculture.
In 2013, it was used by the NSW DPI and Livestock Health and Pest Authority to successfully eradicate an outbreak of H7 avian influenza.