Australia Withholds Location of New Biodefense Lab

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
Global Security Newswire Staff
Jan. 17, 2014, 8:04 a.m.

Aus­tralia is re­fus­ing to dis­close the sit­ing of a new urb­an biode­fense labor­at­ory over fears of a tar­geted strike, the Ad­elaide Ad­vert­iser re­ports.

The “Phys­ic­al Con­tain­ment Level 3” com­plex, in op­er­a­tion as of this week, is the highest-se­cur­ity dis­ease re­search fa­cil­ity in the state of South Aus­tralia, ac­cord­ing to the news­pa­per.

The site is ex­pec­ted to con­duct as­sess­ments tied to “risk group 3” patho­gens, said Janice Fletch­er, the state’s act­ing patho­logy dir­ect­or. That in­cludes bio­lo­gic­al threats such as tuber­cu­los­is and Q fever.

“The lab will pro­cess around 9,000 TB samples per year,” Fletch­er said. “[It] also has the cap­ab­il­ity to test for some oth­er or­gan­isms, in­clud­ing a bi­o­ter­ror­ism test­ing cap­ab­il­ity.”

A re­cently en­acted state health law helped es­tab­lish the ra­tionale for the new My­co­bac­teri­um Ref­er­ence Labor­at­ory, which is in­ten­ded to sup­port re­sponses to the most ser­i­ous dis­ease events the re­gion may face.

State med­ic­al of­fi­cials “re­cog­nized that we did not have a suit­ably rated con­tain­ment labor­at­ory for deal­ing with high-risk mi­croor­gan­isms,” South Aus­tralia Health Min­is­ter Jack Snelling said. He said the new labor­at­ory can “op­er­ate at — or above — the level of lead­ing labor­at­or­ies in oth­er states.”

In the past, au­thor­it­ies have had to send po­ten­tial bio­lo­gic­al-threat ma­ter­i­als to oth­er Aus­trali­an states for as­sess­ment, Snelling ad­ded.

“We have to be pre­pared to re­spond quickly to test and find solu­tions to any­thing from nat­ur­ally oc­cur­ring su­per­bugs to the event of a bioat­tack,” he said.

What We're Following See More »
CITES CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Lieberman Withdraws from Consideration for FBI Job
2 days ago
THE LATEST
MINIMUM 2 PERCENT GDP
Trump Tells NATO Countries To Pay Up
2 days ago
BREAKING
MANAFORT AND FLYNN
Russians Discussed Influencing Trump Through Aides
2 days ago
THE DETAILS

"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Source:
BUT WHITE HOUSE MAY USE AGAINST HIM ANYWAY
Ethics Cops Clear Mueller to Work on Trump Case
3 days ago
THE LATEST

"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."

Source:
BUSINESSES CAN’T PLEAD FIFTH
Senate Intel to Subpoena Two of Flynn’s Businesses
4 days ago
THE LATEST

Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."

×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login