1. Australian Customs sniffer dogs are set to get a new $25million home in Bulla, north-west of Melbourne.

    The Customs & Border Protection Service has signed a contract with the Gibb Group and Qanstruct to build the new National Detector Dog Facility headquarters on Loemans Rd.

    The new digs, set on a a sprawling 8.9Ha site, will be used to both breed and train up to 200 dogs.

    Facilities will include 3300sqm of dog kennels, plenty of dog runs and a 980sqm veterinary centre.

    The dogs will be trained at several houses simulating a typical residential area and an 1180sqm mock airport baggage handling bay.

    Gibb Group Managing Director Matthew Gibb said the start of construction marks the culmination of many months of design workshops.

    “We have effectively been designing something unique from the ground up, taking practical ideas and dog breeding, gaining and handling scenarios and converting this ideas into a functional and practical design,” Mr Gibb said.

    Home Affairs Minister Brendan O’Connor said the detector dog breeding program was created following a worldwide shortage of dogs and nearly 2000 puppies have been born since 1993.

    The facility, which includes 1650sqm of administrative buildings, is expected to be completed by December.

    Herald Sun – 15 February 2011