​​Media release

Have your say on the new biosecurity regulations​

5 February 2016

The Australian Government is continuing to implement more modern and flexible biosecurity legislation with the second tranche of delegated legislation under the new Biosecurity Act 2015 available for public comment from today.

The package includes a declaration, a determination and six regulations covering the key areas of compensation, permits, use of protected information, assessment and management, pre-arrival reporting and ballast water and sediment.

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said the regulations outlined how the Biosecurity Act 2015 would work in practice, and that considered feedback from key stakeholders and international trading partners was imperative.

“The release of the regulations provides clients and stakeholders with detailed information on how we propose to manage our biosecurity system in the future,” Minister Joyce said.

“There will be changes under the Act, and the regulations include important details of how it will work in practice, including the process for applying for import permits, how goods and conveyances are assessed and managed for biosecurity risk when they enter the country, and the information that must be included in an application for a permit to bring or import conditionally non-prohibited goods.

“The biosecurity regulation and declaration for ballast water will help Australia meet our international obligations and will enable us take that important step towards a national framework for regulating the biosecurity risks associated with ballast water from vessels.

I encourage all interested people and organisations to have their say on how they envisage the regulations will work for them, and any potential impacts.

The government has engaged in meaningful consultation throughout the development of the new biosecurity legislation, and comments received will be considered during the final drafting of the regulations.”

The Biosecurity Act 2015 will come into effect on 16 June 2016—replacing the century-old Quarantine Act 1908—and will ensure our biosecurity system is modern, flexible and responsive.

Minister Joyce said the biosecurity system was at the heart of a profitable agriculture industry and strong farmgate returns.

“As an island nation, Australia is free from many of the damaging pests and diseases that affect other parts of the world, and we want to keep it that way,” Minister Joyce said.

“A robust biosecurity system helps keep out exotic pests and diseases and also helps to reduce the impact should they enter Australia.

"This underpins our favourable trading status—our strong market access to a range of countries is built on freedom from many exotic pests and diseases.

"Biosecurity underpins so much of what makes Australian agriculture profitable, with benefits flowing on to our whole country and economy.”

The consultation period is now open for submissions, and will close on 24 March 2016.

For more information on the exposure draft and how to give your feedback, visit agriculture.gov.au/biosecurity/legislation/new-biosecurity-legislation.