Communique meeting 19 October 2016

9 December 2016

The Biosecurity Advisory Committee (the Committee) held its ninth meeting on 9 December 2016.

At this meeting, the Committee:

  • commended the department on efforts and achievement reaching the key milestone of statutory consultation process on the proposed Biosecurity Regulation 2016;
  • noted finalisation of two additional proposed Regulations covering changes to the schedules within the Biosecurity Act 2016; and the National Livestock Identification System for consultation;
  • discussed key issues arising from the public consultation sessions, including arrangements for pest animals and weeds; and the practical implementation of the general biosecurity duty; and steps with the preparation of a statutory response;
  • discussed the relationship between the Biosecurity Act and the Local Land Services Act especially as they relate to regional weed strategic plans. Further discussions will be arranged with environmental representatives to help them understand the change involved to translate the current arrangements;
  • discussed initial insights from the qualitative fieldwork conducted as part of the Biosecurity Attitudinal Research project, recommending need for further work and opportunities to help raise awareness, understanding and engagement in biosecurity matters across community and industry; and
  • endorsed the proposed structure for the initial State of Biosecurity Report.

The Committee also discussed other aspects of the broader legislation reform project including training, systems development and drafting of revised policies and procedures.

The Committee again reinforced its confidence in the progress and project milestones for the implementation of the Act.

The Committee agreed the key challenge is ongoing engagement of key community, industry and other interested parties – and the need to look for opportunities to connect and link the legislation with practical endeavours.

Following a presentation on the serious impacts that Red Imported Fire Ants (RIFA) can have on the environment, human health, social amenity and infrastructure by Andrew Cox of the Invasive Species Council, the Committee noted the need for the ongoing and sustained RIFA program to eradicate RIFA from south east Queensland.

The Committee will meet again 14 February 2017.

Further information on the NSW Biosecurity Legislation Reform project.