The Biosecurity Act 2015 – 100 years in the making

BIO2498_0516_biosecurity tile 1On Thursday, 16 June the Biosecurity Act 2015 (Biosecurity Act) will replace the Quarantine Act 1908.

The nursery industry is at the front line of biosecurity, with over 300 emergency plant pest reports made in Australia between 2011 to 2015 that required quarantine or eradication measures.

The new Act allows for significant modernisation of the biosecurity system and will have an impact on many of the activities carried out by the nursery industry, along with many others.

The new Act will also affect how the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources approves and manages arrangements with quarantine approved premises (QAP) and compliance agreements (CA), which means nurseries operating their own QAP will see some changes.

Existing CAs and QAPs will be consolidated under a single approved arrangement system, and holders of approved arrangements will be known as biosecurity industry participants (BIPs).

These approved arrangements will allow a BIP to carry out activities associated with the management of biosecurity risks linked with specified goods, sites or other things.

The ability to import new plant material safely into Australia is of high importance to the nursery and garden industry. Not only does it give access to new and improved plant lines and genetics, but it helps to safeguard our industry from biosecurity threats.

Information about the new Biosecurity Act – including approval periods, auditing and fees, and new applications for existing QAPs – is available by calling the Department on 1800 040 629 or emailing newbiosecuritylegislation@agriculture.gov.au

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