The new Biosecurity Act 2014 (the Act), which is expected to come into effect in early 2016, will improve Queensland’s biosecurity preparedness and response capabilities.
The government is continuing to consider feedback from the public consultation on the Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) held last year, which informs the development of the regulations.
Under the Act, the government will focus on biosecurity risks that impact human health, social amenity, the economy or the environment. The Act deals with pests (eg wild dogs and weeds), diseases (such as foot-and-mouth disease) and contaminants (eg lead on grazing land).
The new Act provides a consistent, modern, risk-based and less prescriptive approach to biosecurity in Queensland. Decisions made under the Act will depend on the likelihood and consequences of the risk. This means risks can be managed more appropriately.
The Queensland Government will continue to take immediate action to manage biosecurity risks, where necessary. Under the new Act, action can be taken if there is a reasonable belief that a serious risk exists, prior to scientific confirmation, so that impacts are minimised quickly.
Everyone will need to take an active role in managing biosecurity risks under their control. Under the Act, individuals and organisations, whose activities pose a biosecurity risk, will have greater legal responsibility for managing them. This general biosecurity obligation means you must take all reasonable steps to ensure your activities do not spread a pest, disease or contaminant.
Information will be available for many common pests and diseases to provide guidance on reasonable and practical measures that can be taken to meet the general biosecurity obligation. You will not be expected to know about all the biosecurity risks, but you will be expected to know about those associated with your day-to-day work and your hobbies.
To learn more about the new biosecurity laws and your general biosecurity obligation download the information brochure or contact the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries on 13 25 23.
For more information visit the Department’s website.