States & Locations where COVID-19 Testing Labs have been set up by BGI Group & Minderoo

Louise Black made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Health

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was refused by Department of Health.

Dear Department of Health,

On 29 April 2020, Federal Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, and Minderoo Foundation Chairman, Dr Andrew Forrest AO, have announced the ground-breaking partnership formed between the Australian Federal Government and Minderoo Foundation to secure an abundance of COVID-19 testing kits and other equipment, in a mission to eliminate COVID-19 in Australia.

In collaboration with medical diagnostics providers Sonic Healthcare (Sonic) and Healius, and backed by the State Governments and the Federal Government, 11 new testing labs have been set up for rapid test processing and analysis. BGI's proprietary Huo-Yan (Fire-Eye) laboratory solution is an emergency test lab empowered by BGI’s RT-PCR kits and automated nucleic acid extraction systems such as MGISP-960.

The information I request from the department please is:

- In what states and locations were the 11 BGI Huo-Yan laboratories set up?

- Are they all currently processing test samples?

- What states are using the BGI RT-PCR test kits for their covid population testing programs?

- What quantities of PCR test kits and reagent were supplied to the Australian government by BGI in partnership with Mindaroo?

- How many kits and reagent has been distributed to which states, if any and how many have been added to the National Medical Stockpile for future use?

- Have any of either the federal or respective states' public health reference laboratories eg. VIDRL etc been able to succesfully integrate BGI's Huo Yang solution into their existing lab processes? Or
- Are the BGI test labs operating as standalone laboratories specifically for the rapid processing of test samples using the BGI test kits supplied?

Thank you in advance for facilitating the information I request above. Mindaroo and BGI have not been forthcoming with answers to these questions which is strange, thus I am making this FOI request.

Yours faithfully,

Louise Black

FOI, Department of Health

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Black


I refer to your below email of 28 August 2020 to the Department of Health


The department is unable to determine what documents you are requesting as
your request in its current form appears to be a set of questions, not a
request for access to documents, and therefore is not a valid request
under section 15 of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) (FOI Act).


Section 15 of the FOI Act requires that a request for access meets certain
requirements. To be valid, a Freedom of Information (FOI) request must:


• state that the request is an application for purposes of the FOI Act;

• provide sufficient information about the document(s) to allow us to
process the request; and

• provide an address for reply.


Further information about how to apply for your FOI is available on the
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Kind regards




FOI Unit – FOI and Legislation Section


Legal & Assurance Division |  Corporate Operations Group

Legal Advice & Legislation Branch

Australian Government Department of Health

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