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Biosecurity brain child wins national award

Agriculture Victoria’s biosecurity branch has had its emergency response platform recognised at the 2017 Australian Biosecurity Awards.

The MAX biosecurity case management platform allows biosecurity agencies to respond to emergencies faster and more efficiently than ever before.

The platform provides integrated mobile, spatial, reporting and intelligence services that can be utilised to deliver in a wide range of scenarios.

Developed by a team based in Bendigo in Central Victoria, the system is being adopted by agencies in other states with interest also coming from overseas.

In Victoria alone MAX has been used for numerous responses including giant pine scale, chestnut blight and anthrax, plant and animal health surveillance, issuing plant health certificates, bushfire and flood recovery, wild dog management, and drought assistance programs.

The easy to use system requires minimal training, and users can enter data directly from the field without needing to return to an office.

In addition to emergency situations, the flexibility and features of the platform have led to its increasing use for routine biosecurity operations.

Other biosecurity agencies in Australia have also adopted the MAX platform, with Agriculture Victoria’s Biosecurity Branch working to install the system and conduct training in other states.

In Western Australia, the system was successfully tested in a foot and mouth disease response exercise.

In South Australia, MAX is being used for fruit fly trapping and Khapra beetle surveillance.

In Queensland, MAX has been used for Varroa mite surveillance, biosecurity entity registration, fly trapping, pest animal register, Red Witchweed, White Spot disease and Hendra virus responses, with plans to implement the system in many other areas including animal and plant health surveillance.

The Northern Territory is in the process of installing MAX and Tasmania is in the final stages of commissioning their installation.

As well as enhanced biosecurity response, the sharing of the system across jurisdictions has resulted in common tools and processes being used across Australia.

MAX took out a prestigious Australian Biosecurity award in March 2017.

It also won the Victorian iAward for innovation in government in 2016.

The MAX development team are IT manager Dean Bellingham; spatial systems senior officer Ian Shurvell, technical lead Carsten Plambeck, senior analyst/programmers Esther Coultas and Helio Dutra and analyst/programmer Jason Hulls.

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