The biggest overhaul to Australia’s biosecurity system in over a century is one step closer to reality with Royal Assent being given to the Biosecurity Act 2015. Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said the Biosecurity Act 2015 replaces the Quarantine Act 1908, paving the way for modern and flexible support for Australia’s biosecurity system.
“This new legislation is about protecting our vital agricultural industries and the capacity for our nation to produce and export the highest quality, clean and sustainably produced agricultural goods to the world,” Minister Joyce said.
“I would like to thank industry stakeholders, clients and the community for their contribution to the development of the Biosecurity Act 2015, which has been more than six years in the making.
“The hard work is not over, more remains to be done but together we are now much better placed to meet the challenges of the future.”
The Department of Agriculture has 12 months to draft, develop and consult on regulations and supporting polices and processes before the legislation comes into effect.
Minister Joyce said this will allow for extensive consultation with stakeholders, clients and staff to make sure that arrangements are effective and practical.
“Different groups of clients and stakeholders will be interested in different regulations so consultation will be targeted to focus efforts on the areas of most interest,” Minister Joyce said.
“These include regulations around ballast water, approved arrangements, biosecurity import risk analysis and the Inspector-General of Biosecurity.
“My department remains as committed as ever to getting this right – reviewing, updating and improving the legal and regulatory frameworks to help everyone play their role in maintaining our world class biosecurity status.
“While the Australian Government is proud to take a lead role in biosecurity policy, we can’t do this alone. Public consultation will play a key role as we draft these regulations, which will be made available for consultation well in advance of the Act taking effect.”
For more information on the Biosecurity Act 2015 and information on how you can participate in the public consultation process, visit www.agriculture.gov.au/biosecuritylegislation
Posted 16 June 2015