Draft Biosecurity Bill Information Summary

​​The Tasmanian Government released a draft Biosecurity Bill 2017 for public consultation.

The fact sheets below outline the main features of the proposed new biosecurity legislation. Most of the fact sheets are only one-page. They are intended as plain language snapshots of key aspects of the Bill.

1: Overview

The proposed Biosecurity Bill will result in contemporary biosecurity legislation equal to the challenges of the modern world.

  Biosecurity Bill Fact Sheet 1 - Overview   (206Kb)

2: Governance

The proposed Biosecurity Bill identifies the Minister and the Secretary of the Department as key decision makers able to delegate their powers. Two statutory positons are established under the Bill: the Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) and the Chief Plant Protection Officer (CPPO).  Together with their deputies, the CVO, CPPO and Authorised Officers are equipped with powers such as issuing individual directions including treatment or confinement of material.

  Biosecurity Bill Fact Sheet 2 – Governance   (221Kb)

3:  Key terms

The key terms used in the Bill are explained.

  Biosecurity Bill Fact Sheet 3 – Key Terms   (227Kb)

4: General biosecurity duty

A foundation principle of the Tasmanian Biosecurity Framework is that biosecurity is a shared responsibility. Despite the body of existing biosecurity laws in Tasmania, there is no clear statement outlining our responsibility to behave reasonably to protect the State's biosecurity. This is something the proposed Biosecurity Bill will fix.

  Biosecurity Bill Fact Sheet 4 – General Biosecurity Duty   (201Kb)

5: Funding the Biosecurity System

Biosecurity is a shared responsibility between government, industry and the community. The proposed Biosecurity Bill seeks to give effect to the principle of shared responsibility through a range of tools and mechanisms that facilitate co-funding and co-investment.

  Biosecurity Bill Fact Sheet 5 – Funding the Biosecurity System   (205Kb)

6: Reimbursement

The proposed Biosecurity Bill defines specific circumstances in which owners of plants, animals or other property may be reimbursed for the death or destruction of the animal, plant or property. It also creates mechanisms for the private sector to have investment in biosecurity recognised and encouraged.

  Biosecurity Bill Fact Sheet 6 – Reimbursement   (201Kb)

7: Biosecurity programs

Under the proposed Biosecurity Bill approved biosecurity programs and government biosecurity programs will be able to be created.

  Biosecurity Bill Fact Sheet 7 – Biosecurity Programs   (198Kb)

8: Listing

The importation of plants, animals and other biosecurity material into Tasmania and the management of them once they are present will be based on how the material is categorised under the proposed Biosecurity Bill. 

  Biosecurity Bill Fact Sheet 8 – Listing   (209Kb)

9: Authorised Officers

Under the proposed Biosecurity Bill, the appointment of Authorised Officers will be streamlined and more efficient. An Authorised Officer will be empowered to exercise powers in relation to 'biosecurity matter' generally (as opposed to for plants or animals).

  Biosecurity Bill Fact Sheet 9 – Authorised Officers   (202Kb)

10: Biosecurity registration

Under the proposed Biosecurity Bill certain types of dealings with biosecurity matter or carriers, or, engagement in certain dealings, may be prescribed as regulated dealings. In order to undertake a regulated dealing a person or business must be registered.

  Biosecurity Bill Fact Sheet 10 – Biosecurity Registration   (203Kb)

11:  Permits

Permits under the proposed Biosecurity Bill will authorise activity and dealings which otherwise contravene the legislation or an instrument made under it. They are a key biosecurity management tool because they allow action by exception and have valuable roles both in emergencies and business-as-usual situations.

  Biosecurity Bill Fact Sheet 11 – Permits   (197Kb)

12: Biosecurity response

Tasmania needs the ability to respond effectively to the incursion of unwanted pests or diseases. These have adverse impacts of varying severity on the environment, industry, the community and the wider economy. The proposed Biosecurity Bill contains a range of tools to support swift and efficient responses scaled proportionately to the threat. 

  Biosecurity Bill Fact Sheet 12 – Biosecurity Responses   (204Kb)

13: Co-regulation

Co-regulation occurs where users of the biosecurity system develop and administer arrangements that are able to be enforced through government legislation. This represents a shift away from direct government regulation and allows those routinely dealing with biosecurity issues to develop novel and often efficient approaches to them. 

  Biosecurity Bill Fact Sheet 13 – Co-regulation   (199Kb)

14:  Compliance

The proposed Biosecurity Bill includes a flexible set of performance based arrangements aimed at achieving compliance without recourse to the courts in the first instance. These mechanisms are biosecurity directions and biosecurity undertakings. At the same time, the Bill retains and modernises Tasmania's penalty-based compliance regime for biosecurity offences.

  Biosecurity Bill Fact Sheet 14 – Compliance Tools   (231Kb)

15: Offences and penalties

The proposed Biosecurity Bill will introduce a consistent penalty structure that is better aligned with the gravity of the offences.

  Biosecurity Bill Fact Sheet 15 – Offences & Penalties   (201Kb)

16: Appeal rights, transparency and precaution

Provisions of the proposed Biosecurity Bill promote natural justice, appeal rights, administrative transparency and risk- based decision making. They support scientific decision-making, openness about the reasons for decisions and offer appropriate review of decisions which affect private interests. 

  Biosecurity Bill Fact Sheet 16 – Appeal Rights and Transperancy   (200Kb)

17: Transitional arrangements

When laws are changed arrangements are usually put in place to transition from the old system to the new one. These are called transitional arrangements.

  Biosecurity Bill Fact Sheet 17– Transitional Arrangements   (207Kb)

18: Biosecurity dealings

The proposed Biosecurity Bill seeks to control or eliminate biosecurity risks through a range of management functions such as regulating certain types of biosecurity dealings and specifying how they can occur legally. 

  Biosecurity Bill Fact Sheet 18 – Biosecurity Dealings   (199Kb)

19: Overview of the legislative framework

The proposed Biosecurity Bill is the primary law in the legislative and policy framework that will deliver the Future Directions for a new Contemporary Biosecurity Legislative Framework

  Biosecurity Bill Fact Sheet 19 – Legislative Framework   (214Kb)

20: Summary Overview

What is biosecurity, why is it important and why are we revising our biosecurity legislation are important questions that provide context to the proposed Biosecurity Bill.

  Biosecurity Bill Fact Sheet 20 - Summary Overview   (203Kb)

Further Information

Tasmanian Biosecurity Strategy (DPIPWE)

Position Paper

Future Directions

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