New look at national Biosecurity Bill

The Biosecurity Bill that disappeared into a hole after the 2013 federal election has re-emerged.

Formed to mark the final stage of a major overhaul of the way we protect our borders from feral animals, weeds and diseases and what happens when inevitably they are breeched, the bill disappeared from sight after it lapsed last year.

But in June this year agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce announced that it would be introduced into Parliament following ‘targeted consultation’.

While the bill underwent extensive consultation leading up to its tabling in the Senate in 2012, the then Labor Government largely ignored feedback from stakeholders, including the Invasive Species Council and industry groups.

Late in 2012, the bill was tabled in the Senate and then referred to a Senate committee inquiry where public hearings held. After the committee reporting date was extended past the September 2013 federal election, the bill lapsed and the Senate committee never completed its report.

When in Canberra in May 2014, the Invasive Species Council personally presented the Barnaby Joyce with a copy of its joint 2012 submission on the Biosecurity Bill. We’re looking forward to speaking in more detail with the government about our concerns.

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