Strengthening preparedness across our region

  • Joint media release with:
  • The Hon Pat Conroy MP, Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Minister for Defence Industry
  • The Hon Ed Husic MP, Minister for Industry and Science

Australia will help our region better prepare for, prevent and respond to disease outbreaks by investing in a program of new partnerships between Australia's national science agency, CSIRO, and governments across the Pacific and Southeast Asia.

Under the program, CSIRO will leverage its expertise across animal and human health, as well as its world-class facilities, to partner with countries including Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos and Fiji to improve their ability to identify, track and respond to health emergencies.

The new partnerships, totalling $24.2 million, will help to ensure frontline teams have the right skills to protect communities, and our region, from the spread of disease.

As part of the program, CSIRO's Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness will receive over $12 million in funding to strengthen selected animal health laboratories in Southeast Asia, improve testing for infectious diseases at high-risk locations such as wildlife markets and boost field diagnostic networks in the Pacific.

The program also includes support for a new biomanufacturing partnership to strengthen capabilities in Southeast Asia to develop and manufacture vaccines, biopharmaceuticals and drug products.

In addition, the program will support the Australian e-Health Research Centre to use its world-leading capabilities in digital health to assist partners to strengthen their health data systems, expand regional data sharing and improve disease surveillance.

The new program is part of the Australian Government's five-year $620 million Partnerships for a Healthy Region initiative, which is working with partner countries to build resilient, equitable and inclusive health systems that can respond to our shared challenges.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Penny Wong:

“The Albanese Government's investments, coupled with the CSIRO's expertise, will make our region healthier, safer and more secure.

“A healthy and prosperous Pacific and Southeast Asia benefits us all, so we're pleased to be investing in these important new partnerships.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Industry and Science, the Hon Ed Husic MP:

“Australians can be proud of the way CSIRO has helped in the fight against infectious diseases to improve the health and quality of life of our friends in the region.

“These partnerships build on that and will see CSIRO continue to apply their know-how to support better health at home and abroad.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for International Development and the Pacific, the Hon Pat Conroy MP:

“CSIRO has world-class expertise to share with our region.

“Under this new program, CSIRO will support partners across the Pacific and Southeast Asia to ensure they have the right foundations in place to prepare for, and respond to, future disease outbreaks.”

Media enquiries

  • Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555