What is the General Biosecurity Duty (GBD)?
Biosecurity Act 2019 introduces in Tasmania a new legal obligation known as the General Biosecurity Duty – or GBD.
The Act emphasises the importance of shared responsibilities and the need for Government, industry and the community to work together to maintain a strong biosecurity system.
In simple terms, the GBD reinforces that everyone has a role to play in protecting our unique environment and primary industries against biosecurity risks.
The GBD came into effect on 31 March 2021
GBD information resources
Biosecurity Tasmania has developed resources to help you understand what the GBD is, and to help you identify your GBD responsibilities:
Stakeholder profiles provide an overview of the actions that can be taken by a range of businesses, organisations and individuals to help meet their GBD obligations.
- GBD hypothetical examples are practical demonstrations of how the GBD might apply in potential real life situations.
What does this mean from a legal perspective?
The GBD operates as a statutory “duty of care” in respect to biosecurity. This means that a person
(which includes all levels of Government, individuals, and private corporate entities) has to take all reasonable and practical measures to prevent, eliminate, or minimise biosecurity risks.
The GBD applies if that person knows, or it is reasonable to expect a person to know, that a risk may be presented by any dealing with biosecurity matter, or a carrier. The definition of a dealing extends beyond the simple exchange or transport of goods. Read more about dealings, biosecurity matter, and carrier.
The introduction of the GBD does not mean that you now have to know everything about biosecurity, however you do need to know about the biosecurity risks that apply to your specific industry, business, work environment or pastimes - and how to manage or minimise those risks to the best of your ability.
If individuals are following and complying with existing biosecurity legislation*, regulations, guidelines, codes, policies and processes then they are likely to be meeting their GBD obligations in most cases, but not always.
The GBD provides an extra level of biosecurity protection to ensure that all foreseeable biosecurity risks, whether or not they are covered by specific requirements or guidelines, are appropriately managed.
What are our responsibilities under the GBD?
Under the GBD, any person dealing with plants or animals (or their derived products) who knows, or reasonably ought to know, that a biosecurity risk is posed, or is likely to be posed, has a legal duty to ensure that the risk is prevented, eliminated or minimised so far as is reasonably practicable.
Good biosecurity underpins our economy and supports our environment and way of life. Meeting your GBD obligations will help protect your business, our primary industries and the Tasmanian environment from biosecurity risks.
A significant breach of the GBD that is intentional or reckless will be treated as an aggravated offence that may carry a significant penalty under the Act.
Stay connected with Biosecurity Tasmania
Stay up to date to help you meet your GBD:
*current biosecurity legislation includes: Animal (Brands & Movement) Act 1984, Seeds Act 1985, Animal Farming (Registration) Act 1994, Animal Health Act 1995, Plant Quarantine Act 1997, Weed Management Act 1999, Vermin Control Act 2000