Specialised Project

Australian Customs & Border Protection National Detector Dog Program Facility

This facility near Melbourne Airport is where Customs raises and trains dogs to detect drugs and other contraband. It was planned, designed and commissioned in close collaboration with Customs to meet the very specific requirements of the service and provide a world-class base for the Program.

  • One of only a few similar facilities in the world.
  • Specialist accommodation for the training of detector dogs and handlers.
  • Operational head office for the program.

This project saw some 90 acres of barren ‘green wedge’ land in Bulla on the outskirts of Melbourne, transformed into a world-class facility for the National Detector Dog Program team, a part of Australian Customs and Border Protection.

The space offered at this location, its proximity to the airport and its relative isolation from neighbours made it the perfect site for the facility, where the program’s dogs are raised and trained in the detection of drugs and other contraband items before being deployed to ports across Australia.

Qanstruct’s first Government project, it is also the only one – so far, at least – where it was equally important to cater for the requirements of the animals who were using the facility as it was to meet the needs of the Customs team.

This unique project presented a number of challenges from devising a system for moving the dogs from their kennels to their runs in minimum time, to meeting a number of unique technical requirements for this highly specialised service. Qanstruct worked closely with the team from Customs throughout the planning, design and commissioning to ensure a successful outcome.