A new ‘high-tech’ facility is to be built in Northern Australia as part of the country’s $200 million biosecurity investment plans.

The $8 million centre in Darwin will work to protect citizens and industries at home while also strengthening Australia’s reputation in international export markets.

Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said the ‘biosecurity hub’ is going to “house the latest technology in molecular diagnostics, a technique to diagnose and monitor disease and detect risk.”

He continued: “This significant investment in biosecurity in the north under the [$200M] Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper will support faster testing of potential biosecurity threats as they emerge. This includes quickly separating local, sometimes beneficial, insects from exotic fruit flies that could devastate our horticulture exports.

“It also means a more effective early warning system for destructive threats such as new banana diseases. And it means expert rapid diagnosis of exotic diseases that could cripple Australian agriculture.”