Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
Australia Cuts Funding to Biodefense Initiative
The Queensland state government in Australia is canceling financing for an animal disease research site that would have studied such possible biological weapon threats as foot-and-mouth disease and anthrax, the Townsville Bulletin reported on Wednesday (see GSN, April 6, 2006).
It was expected to cost $18.5 million to establish the site at James Cook University's Townsville branch.
The Queensland government has also chosen to shutter a disease research center at Oonoonba as the expense of modernizing the facility was determined to be too great.
University Veterinary and Biomedical Science School chief Wayne Hein said eliminating plans for the new site would cripple efforts to prepare for a serious disease outbreak in the region.
"It would have provided huge synergies by partnering with an education provider, which would have co-located the enforcement arm of [the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Department] with cutting-edge research from the university," the professor said.
"Unfortunately, biosecurity throughout the North will suffer as a result of this decision," Hein said.
Lawmaker Bob Katter said the decision would leave Queensland overly reliant on other biodefense facilities in the event of an emergency.
"The Townsville facility was to provide a high-containment lab for rapid and accurate diagnosis of diseases such as anthrax, foot-and-mouth disease, avian influenza and hendra virus," Katter said "Are we really expected to believe that we can rely on Brisbane to wait for the rapid results of sophisticated tests that are crucial during outbreaks?" (Anthony Templeton, Townsville Bulletin, July 25).
March 12, 2013
The UNSCR 1540 Resource Collection examines implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540, which requires all states to implement measures aimed at preventing non-state actors from acquiring NBC weapons, related materials, and their means of delivery. It details implementation efforts in all of the regions and countries of the world to-date.
Nov. 27, 2012
In this issue brief, senior experts at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies examine eight nonproliferation decisions that the second Obama administration cannot avoid.
Australia ranked at the top of the NTI Index. Learn more about its policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.