Developer BlueArc has won a deal to build a NSW horse industry database to help up to 5000 organisations and 100,000 individuals save their precious equines in times of natural disaster.
Michael Doherty, business development manager at BlueArc Group, said the Sydney-based developer had won a tender with NSW’s Department of Primary Industries and the Australian Horse Industry Council to build an emergency contact database for equestrians.
The database would let authorities contact horse owners and other industry people by phone or email quickly when disasters or disease happened. Initially, it would cover NSW but was expected to roll out across Australia over time, he said.
Doherty said the horse industry was fragmented and scattered. Different groups and individuals could not communicate effectively with each other or with local authorities to access specialised assistance in times of natural catastrophe.
As a result, people sometimes could not save their often-valuable horses in an emergency, causing millions of dollars in losses over time to industries such as horse-racing and the various equestrian sports, he said.
“In Canberra something like 900 horses were lost in those bushfires,” Doherty said.
“It has been a common sight to have horse owners at a very late stage in the game picking up horse-floats and removing horses to safety, driving down very narrow strips of tarmac with a whole herd of bushfire trucks coming the other way,” he said.
Scott Porter, chief executive at BlueArc Group, said the company was building a new horse industry website where people could register their details and preferred contact method.
The next step was to build the contact database, using Microsoft SQL 2000 in the back-end and the Ignition Content Management System. The system was expected to go live in April, according to a statement released by BlueArc.
Rod Hoare, NSW director at Australian Horse Industry Council, said the database would also help convey emergency bulletins to industry service providers such as vets, farriers, transport companies and produce merchants.
“Emergency authorities have long been frustrated by the lack of a reliable and efficient means of communicating with horse people. Now we have the solution,” Hoare said.
Porter said BlueArc had 35 full time staff for its web applications and development, wireless, .NET applications, systems and services work in its Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane offices.