​Media Release

New biosecurity regulations out for comment

11 December 2015

Another milestone in implementing more modern and flexible biosecurity legislation was reached today, with a range of significant draft regulations under the Biosecurity Act 2015 released for public comment.

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, encouraged all interested parties to have a say on the draft regulations for approved arrangements, the Inspector General of Biosecurity and infringement notices.

"These three regulations will form an important part of the new Biosecurity Act 2015, and are key to how the Australian Government will manage our biosecurity system in the future," Minister Joyce said.

"Approved arrangements provide an opportunity for businesses to enter into a voluntary arrangement with the Commonwealth to manage the biosecurity risk associated with their activities; the Inspector General of Biosecurity is an important statutory position to provide independent oversight of our system; and infringement notices are one of the tools we have to punish wrongdoers.

"So these are incredibly important regulations that we want your feedback on. The government has engaged in meaningful consultation throughout the development of our new biosecurity legislation and listened to feedback about how we can modernise it.

"I am pleased to continue in that commitment, and invite all interested people and organisations to have their say—all comments received will be considered in final drafting of the regulations."

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 so many of the damaging pests and diseases that affect other parts of the world—but with increased movement of people and goods across the world, comes increased risk of exotic pests and diseases reaching our shores," Minister Joyce said.

"Not only does our biosecurity system protect our agricultural industries, environment and economy from pests and diseases that could affect our local plants and animals, but it also underpins our favourable trading status.

"Our strong market access to a range of countries is built on freedom from many exotic pests and diseases—and with a serious biosecurity incursion we could stand to lose access to these markets.

"This is why it's so important to get these new biosecurity regulations right—because biosecurity does underpin so much of what makes Australian agriculture profitable. When agriculture prospers, our whole country and economy benefits."

Consultation is open for a minimum of 60 days. For more information on the exposure draft and the consultation process, please visit agriculture.gov.au/biosecuritylegislation.