• Disaster response and recovery

    Government agencies use ABR data to help and provide support for their communities, the environment, infrastructure and the economy during times of disaster.

    The following case studies show how we have used ABR data to help communities:

    Note: If you have had success using ABR data and would you like to share your story with other agencies, contact the ABR.

    Case study 1: Looking after local businesses comes naturally to Ipswich City Council with the help of ABR Explorer data

    ABR data helped Ipswich City Council contact local businesses after a severe storm passed through Ipswich in December 2016.

    The Ipswich region gets its fair share of natural disasters, so the Economic Development team were well prepared. Using the email addresses contained in the ABR data an email was promptly sent to local businesses informing them to contact the council for immediate assistance.

    Ipswich is in the top 20 of Australia’s fastest growing areas and is the fastest growing city in Queensland. It has a large manufacturing and construction industry which supports the city and the surroundings areas.

    A spokesperson for the council said being prepared for these events and keeping in contact with the local community in a timely manner after the storm meant they could assist businesses that requested immediate help and give advice on the various local government assistance programs available.

    In addition to receiving positive feedback from the business community, the council also gathered valuable information based on the email response rate.

    Case study 2: Using ABR data to help manage a biological hazard – Banana freckle

    Australian Business Register (ABR) information was recently provided to the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (DPIF) Northern Territory to assist with the containment of an outbreak of banana freckle, a fungal disease threatening the NT banana industry. The disease was detected in NT in 2013.

    Banana freckle causes blemishes on the fruit, reducing its commercial value. Although it is not a new disease in Australia, it is a declared disease under the NT’s Plant Health Act 2008 and is a serious threat to the Top End’s banana industry.

    To avoid further spread of the disease, a quick quarantine response was required. The first step was to identify businesses in the NT that were connected with the banana industry. Staff from the DPIF contacted the ABR disaster response team requesting data that might be able to assist with their response.

    To help identify potentially affected businesses, information on the register was refined by location and by using the relevant Australian New Zealand Standard Industry Classification (ANZSIC) codes.

    This information was used to create a specialised ABR data extract which was provided to the DPIF in an excel spreadsheet, with a pivot table summary of statistical counts, for ease of use.

    The ABR information helped the DPIF establish the size of the response required. It also provided a starting point for making contact with relevant businesses.

    Using ABR data, the NT Government was able to respond quickly to the hazard, ensuring the disease did not spread to larger commercial banana growing regions in Australia.

    Due to the positive outcome, the DPIF is currently looking at how ABR information can be used in other day-to-day business operations.

    See also:

    • Last modified: 05 Dec 2017QC 572