Government Employee - General Biosecurity Duty
Being a government employee and/or an officer authorised under the Biosecurity Act 2019 in Tasmania (or authorised under any other piece of Tasmanian state legislation), means that you have an important role to play in helping to protect the state from the impact of pests, weeds and disease.
Listed below are some biosecurity actions you can take to meet your General Biosecurity Duty (GBD) and help keep you, your agency and Tasmania biosecurity safe.
Important Biosecurity Actions
- Ensure you consider any biosecurity risks that may be present at the sites that you visit during your course of duty, or that may occur as a result of your activities, and take all reasonable and practicable steps to minimise these risks.
- Ensure that you take all reasonable and practicable measures to clean footwear, equipment and vehicles of soil, dirt, seeds and other foreign matter prior to entering a site and before visiting another site, particularly agricultural production sites or wilderness areas.
- If you SEE something during the course of your duties that is unusual or of biosecurity concern, such as potential exotic plant/animal pests, weeds or diseases, or invasive animal species;
Please note: Taking samples in the field may increase the risk of spreading the biosecurity risk so Biosecurity Tasmania will provide further instruction regarding possible sample collection and submission.
- SECURE the site by restricting access (and limiting movement in the case of suspected animal diseases) AND take a photo, noting the location; and then
- REPORT it to Biosecurity Tasmania as soon as possible - see reporting details below.
- Carrying a basic, personal biosecurity kit is a good way of decontaminating vehicles, clothing and some smaller items. Recommended contents and instructions on putting a kit together can be found at the Farm Biosecurity website.
- Adhere to any specific biosecurity instructions or requests provided by site operators or owners, where they do not contravene the Act or interfere with the execution of your statutory duties.
- Upon arrival at a property – obey any biosecurity signage information and sign the visitor register if there is one in use.
- Use designated laneways and tracks where possible, avoid travelling across agricultural production areas and ensure clothes, vehicles and equipment are clean prior to going into paddocks or similar.
- Leave farm gates as you found them (i.e. open or closed), unless otherwise instructed by the property owner or manager, or signage. Report any damage to fences to the property owner/manager to prevent the escape or entry of livestock or other animals.
- Uphold and promote the principles of the GBD in your actions and dealings with stakeholders.
Authorised officers' actions
Some additional essential actions for Officers authorised under the Biosecurity Act 2019 (BA2019), including police officers:
- Always carry your official BA2019 identification while performing functions under the Act.
- Follow all regulations, guidelines, procedures or similar while undertaking official duties.
- Understand your duties and responsibilities in relation to administering compliance with the GBD.
- Understand the correct actions to take in situations where there may be an offence against the GBD.
Contact and reporting
Contact Biosecurity Tasmania for general information or to report a suspected pest, weed or disease:
Phone: (03) 6165 3777
Alternatively, for reporting pests, weeds or diseases, you can call the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline (1800 084 881) or the Emergency Animal Disease Hotline (1800 675 858).
Stay up to date on biosecurity in Tasmania
Subscribing to get Tasmanian Biosecurity Advisories
is the best way you can keep yourself up-to-date and fully informed about Tasmanian biosecurity issues. Our Advisories cover topics such as changes or proposed changes to Tasmania’s import regulations, animal health and welfare, plant health, forthcoming regulation reviews and opportunities for public comment, new or emerging pest/disease risks and a range of other matters related to Tasmania’s biosecurity
Please note that this information contains minimum recommendations only. The GBD requires a person dealing with biosecurity matter or a carrier to take all reasonable and practicable measures to prevent, eliminate or minimise any biosecurity risk associated with the dealing. Such measures may not be specified in any regulations, guidelines or other official publications.