Home Gardener - General Biosecurity Duty

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Being a home gardener in Tasmania means that you have an important role to play in helping to protect your property and the state from the impact of pests, weeds and diseases.  

Listed below are some biosecurity actions you can take to meet your General Biosecurity Duty (GBD)​ and to help keep you, your family and Tasmania​ biosecurity safe.

Important Biosecurity Actions​

Biosecurity vigilance (also known as Notification of a Biosecurity Event)​

  • If you SEE something in your garden that is unusual or of biosecurity concern, such as potential exotic plant/animal pests, weeds or diseases, or invasive animal species; 

  • 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.  

Please note: Taking your own samples may increase the risk of spreading the biosecurity risk so Biosecurity Tasmania will provide further instruction regarding possible sample collection and submission. 

Livestock and other animals

  • Regularly check gates, fences and enclosures and repair any damage to prevent the escape or entry of livestock or other animals. ​

  • If you keep backyard animals like chickens, make sure they have suitable housing/shelter, access to food and water and that you monitor them for signs of pests and disease. If your animals become sick, get them checked by a vet to make sure they don’t have a notifiable disease.  Good biose​curity tips for keeping birds can be found on this website.

Pests, weeds and diseases

  • Understand your responsibilities in the control of declared weeds Visit the Weeds webpages for more information on weeds in Tasmania.

  • To reduce the risk of common home garden plants (or aquarium plants) becoming environmental weeds – consider composing all green waste within your own contained composting system to be used again on your property or, alternatively, utilise council green waste bins and facilities. Do not illegally dump green waste into the environment.​

  • Ensure that AgVet chemicals are used as per label, or applicable off-label permit (i.e. appropriately to minimise risk to human health, animal health, plant health and the environment). Visit the webpage for information on AgVet chemical use in Tasmania. ​

  • Only source seeds and seedlings from trusted suppliers and check your plant regularly for signs of pests and disease. 

  • Remove and dispose of fallen fruit to reduce the availability of suitable breeding sites for pests. 

  • Do not use produce purchased from the supermarket or green grocers, such as garlic, onions and potted kitchen herbs, for planting in your garden, as this can spread diseases. 

  • Clean garden equipment regularly and thoroughly to prevent the transfer of pests and diseases between plants.

Importing items into Tasmania

  • If you are purchasing goods from outside Tasmania for your garden (such as plants, seeds or animal feed) you need to check whether they are permitted to be imported into Tasmania.

  • If you are importing seeds in consignments under 1kg as per Import Requirement 36 in the Plant Biosecurity Manual Tasmania, ensure that they are sourced from an approved supplier, or consider applying to become a registered importer if you plan on importing seeds on a regular basis. 

  • All imported plants and many of their products must be presented to Biosecurity Tasmania for inspection at an Approved Quarantine Place (AQP). It is the responsibility of the importer to determine an appropriate AQP and make a booking for inspection with Biosecurity Tasmania once the AQP has confirmed they will accept the consignment. Find out more about AQPs.

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.