An Australian-first plan to defend the cattle industry against lumpy skin disease is set to be launched in Darwin. Agriculture Minister Murray Watt will outline eight objectives as part of the action plan when he meets with representatives from the cattle industry during a trip to the top end on Thursday. "It's important to remember that Australia has never experienced an outbreak of lumpy skin disease, and remains free from this disease," Minister Watt said. "But Northern Australia's proximity to newly affected countries means we need to take the threat seriously, especially given the risk of infected mosquitoes being blown in by cyclonic winds." The plan includes improving surveillance for the disease and increasing the focus on lumpy skin within the region. It outlines what systems need to be strengthened or developed to support Australia's cattle industries and effectively manage risk. Since 2019, lumpy skin has spread through China, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia and was officially reported on the island of Sumatra in March. "I'm pleased that many of the 27 activities and eight objectives identified in the action plan are already underway," said Mr Watt. It's estimated lumpy skin would cost the Australian cattle and buffalo industry $7.6 billion if it entered Australia. The disease, which is spread through mosquitoes, flies and ticks, was detected in Indonesia in March and now has a 28 per cent chance of making its way to Australian shores over the next five years. In comparison the risk of foot and mouth disease arriving in Australia sits at around 11 per cent. While not always fatal, lumpy skin disease causes production losses and skin sores in cattle and water buffalo. The new security plan is in addition to the government's larger biosecurity strategy which was announced in August. It builds upon ongoing work between the Australian and Indonesian governments to try to eradicate both lumpy skin and foot and mouth from the archipelago. This week a senate inquiry looking into Australia's biosecurity preparedness heard concerns around failings in the country's biosecurity systems.