New biosecurity laws for Queensland
Queensland’s current biosecurity legislation consists of many different Acts that were developed independently over the past 100 years. Because of this, the laws are not flexible enough to meet the challenges of today’s biosecurity environment.
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. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the 600 responses were received.
Under the Act, we will focus on biosecurity risks that impact human health, social amenity, the economy or the environment. The Act deals with pests (such as wild dogs and weeds), diseases (such as foot-and-mouth disease) and contaminants (such as 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. In fact, 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.
To learn more about the new biosecurity laws and your general biosecurity obligation download the information brochure from www.daf.qld.gov.au or contact Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.