​Media Release

Additional mosquito measures brought to Brisbane

17 April 2015

Additional biosecurity measures will be introduced in Brisbane following three detections of exotic mosquitoes in recent weeks.

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said this followed the introduction of similar increased biosecurity measures at Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne international airports in February in response to exotic mosquito detections at those airports.

“There have been no further detections in Perth, Adelaide or Melbourne since the new measures were rolled out. This is a good result and it shows the flexibility of our risk-based biosecurity system—when risk increases so does our level of intervention,” Minister Joyce said.

“The two detections of exotic mosquitoes at Brisbane international airport recently mean we will now apply the measures that have been successfully applied at the other airports. 

“These mosquitoes can potentially carry diseases such as Dengue Fever, Yellow Fever and Chikungunya. There is no suggestion that any mosquitoes detected in the past few months have been carrying any disease—and these extra measures are designed to keep them out.

“Targeted aircraft landing in Brisbane from certain south-east Asian airports will now have their cargo holds fumigated, before luggage is unloaded.

“This is in addition to the trapping and surveillance activities Department of Agriculture staff undertake—as well as the knockdown fogging, surface spraying, and treatment of standing water undertaken by the airports following an exotic mosquito detection.”

Minister Joyce said further work was underway to identify the most likely pathways of exotic mosquitoes to stop them at the source.

“Further testing of exotic samples collected here and at overseas ports is also underway to work out the most likely origin of exotic mosquitoes coming to Australia,” Minister Joyce said. 

“This will allow us to better target our efforts to make sure none of these mosquitoes enter and establish in Australia—which could have a devastating impact on our human and animal health.

“The Department of Agriculture is working closely with the Department of Health, our trading partners, airlines and airports across Australia on this response—and it’s a great example of how we use science to inform our biosecurity work.”

Minister Joyce said that disruption to airlines and passengers as a result of this important work was unlikely.

“I want to stress these measures will have little effect on passengers travelling to or from these destinations,” Minister Joyce said.

“Australia’s enviable biosecurity status is of critical importance to our human, animal and plant health—and increasing measures where risks increase is the foundation of our successful risk-based biosecurity system.”