Black Mountain quarantine facility, Canberra, in the Australian Capital Territory.
CSIRO Black Mountain quarantine facility (ACT)
For the past two decades the containment facility at CSIRO Entomology has been regarded as one of the most secure containment facilities for insects and plant pathogens in Australia.
15 November 2007 | Updated 14 October 2011
The Black Mountain Containment Facility in Canberra, in the Australian Capital Territory, comprises two zones that comply with the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) or Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) requirements for the containment of different organisms.
In 2007, the facility was refurbished by CSIRO to comply with the new AQIS guidelines and has areas accredited as Quarantine Approved Premises (QAP) under the following criteria:
Class 5.2 Quarantine Containment Level 2 (QC2) Microbiological Facility
Class 5.3 Quarantine Containment Level 3 (QC3) Microbiological Facility
Class 7.2 Quarantine Containment Level 2 (QC2) Insectary Facility
Class 7.3 Quarantine Containment Level 3 (QC3) Insectary Facility.
The OGTR-accredited zone of the facility consists of different areas that comply with requirements for:
Physical Containment Level 2 (PC2) Arthropod Facility
Physical Containment Level 2 (PC2) Animal Facility
Physical Containment Level 2 (PC2) Planthouse Facility.
The facility is fitted with:
Black Mountain Containment Facility provides a safe working area for the containment of exotic insects and pathogens of plants or insects.
controlled environment rooms
a double-door steam steriliser
a fumigation chamber
a waste water sterilisation plant.
It is monitored continuously and is equipped with a back-up generator.
The facility fills two main roles:
Over the past two decades the facility has primarily been involved in screening potential biological control agents for invasive plants of economic and environmental significance in Australia.
The containment capabilities of the facility however, can be used for a broader range of research activities involving exotic or genetically-modified insect and pathogen species (for example, biosecurity-related research).
Although the majority of work carried out at the facility has historically been related to the introduction of beneficial exotic organisms for the biological control of invasive plants, it has the potential to be far more diverse.
For example, in recent years the facility handled the containment and screening of leafcutter bees from Canada and research into a mouse-specific biological control agent that sterilises mice as an alternative to applying rodenticides.
Researchers working in the facility liaise closely during projects with:
Find out more about CSIRO’s other Technical Services & Facilities.