Excercise Orange Juice
Present at the exercise were a range of DPI and LLS (Local Land Services) stakeholders along with observers from other jurisdictions and Plant Health Australia. Industry was represented by Gary Eyles (Eyles Citrus) Chris O’Connor (NGIA), and Michael Danelon (NGINA) along with Nathan Hancock and Jeff Milne (Cit rus Australia) and Robert Hardie (NSW Farmers).
The scenario which played out saw a detection of citrus canker on plant stock within a fictitious chain store, which was traced back to a fictitious production nursery. The exercise which followed progressed from the initial investigation and alert through to the operational response to eradicate the disease and finally the stand down phase. A discussion-based approach which was used to determine an initial response plan to a NSW citrus canker incursion. By undertaking this activity any gaps in the current response plans, protocols and process could be identified. From here solutions and recommendations could be workshopped and captured for future use.
Plant pest emergency response exercises such as this are an invaluable opportunity for building collaboration not only internally for the DPI and LLS staff but also with industry, highlighting the importance of industry engagement and knowledge during these situations. The presence of observers and participants in the exercise who have current experience in dealing with a citrus canker incursion was also helpful to get a real-world understanding of what has worked and what has not worked and why.