The discussion paper presents a clear vision for a stronger, streamlined and inclusive Biosecurity act.
The Invasive Species Council supports the directions outlined for the first phase of reforming the existing legal framework into the new act. Overall, it is a positive first stage and we are very supportive of the reform agenda, as we see the importance and need for modernised laws that will protect Australia from the increasing threats of invasive species and diseases. There are some specific areas that require more attention during this initial phase of the reform, and these are outlined in this submission.
- Incorporate best practice biosecurity principles as core to the new legislation.
- Develop stronger environmental focus to elevate its importance and value as equal to
agricultural and other components of the biosecurity system, including a science based
advisory function and MoU between environment and agriculture agencies.
- Ensure that there are strong objects in the new act to achieve actual outcomes and promote
effective collaboration with traditional owners and Aboriginal people’s heritage and values.
- Ensure that the Biosecurity Reference Group becomes a statutory committee in legislation to
ensure that changing governments do not abolish it in the future.
- Consider statutory positions such as a chief environmental biosecurity officer and science
advisory committee role for more responsive and effective environmental biosecurity
- Develop a General Biosecurity Duty in the new Act in line with other jurisdictions.
- Consider a permitted list approach